< Back to H.R. 1773 (110th Congress, 2007–2009)

Text of the Safe American Roads Act of 2007

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on May 15, 2007 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of May 16, 2007 (Referred to Senate Committee).

Source: GPO

IIB

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1773

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 16, 2007

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

AN ACT

To limit the authority of the Secretary of Transportation to grant authority to motor carriers domiciled in Mexico to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Safe American Roads Act of 2007.

2.

Limitation on granting authority

The Secretary of Transportation may not grant authority to a motor carrier domiciled in Mexico to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border, except under the pilot program authorized by this Act.

3.

Pilot program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Transportation may carry out, in accordance with section 350 of Public Law 107–87, section 31315(c) of title 49, United States Code, all Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations, and this Act, a pilot program that grants authority to not more than 100 motor carriers domiciled in Mexico to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border.

(b)

Limitation on commercial motor vehicles participating in pilot program

The number of commercial motor vehicles owned or leased by motor carriers domiciled in Mexico which may be used to participate in the pilot program shall not exceed 1,000.

(c)

Pilot program prerequisites

The Secretary may not initiate the pilot program under subsection (a) until—

(1)

the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation submits to Congress and the Secretary a report—

(A)

independently verifying that the Department is in compliance with each of the requirements of subsections (a) and (b) of section 350 of Public Law 107–87; and

(B)

including a determination of whether the Department has established sufficient mechanisms—

(i)

to apply Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations to motor carriers domiciled in Mexico; and

(ii)

to ensure compliance with such laws and regulations by motor carriers domiciled in Mexico who will be granted authority to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border;

(2)

the Secretary of Transportation—

(A)

takes such action as may be necessary to address any issues raised in the report of the Inspector General under paragraph (1); and

(B)

submits to Congress a detailed report describing such actions;

(3)

the Secretary determines that there is a program in effect for motor carriers domiciled in the United States to be granted authority to begin operations in Mexico beyond commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border;

(4)

the Secretary publishes in the Federal Register and provides sufficient opportunity for public comment on the following:

(A)

a detailed description of the pilot program and the amount of funds the Secretary will need to expend to carry out the pilot program;

(B)

the findings of each pre-authorization safety audit conducted, before the date of enactment of this Act, by inspectors of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of motor carriers domiciled in Mexico and seeking to participate in the pilot program;

(C)

a process by which the Secretary will be able to revoke Mexico-domiciled motor carrier operating authority under the pilot program;

(D)

specific measures to be required by the Secretary to protect the health and safety of the public, including enforcement measures and penalties for noncompliance;

(E)

specific measures to be required by the Secretary to enforce the requirements of section 391.11(b)(2) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act;

(F)

specific standards to be used to evaluate the pilot program and compare any change in the level of motor carrier safety as a result of the pilot program;

(G)

penalties to be levied against carriers who, under the pilot program, violate section 365.501(b) of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act;

(H)

a list of Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations for which the Secretary will accept compliance with a Mexican law or regulation as the equivalent to compliance with a corresponding Federal motor carrier safety law or regulation, including commercial driver’s license requirements; and

(I)

for any law or regulation referred to in subparagraph (H) for which compliance with a Mexican law or regulation will be accepted, an analysis of how the requirements of the Mexican and United States laws and regulations differ; and

(5)

the Secretary establishes an independent review panel under section 4 to monitor and evaluate the pilot program.

4.

Independent Review Panel

(a)

Establishment of panel

The Secretary of Transportation shall establish an independent review panel to monitor and evaluate the pilot program under section 3. The panel shall be composed of 3 individuals appointed by the Secretary.

(b)

Duties

(1)

Evaluation

The independent review panel shall—

(A)

evaluate any effects that the pilot program has on motor carrier safety, including an analysis of any crashes involving motor carriers participating in the pilot program and a determination of whether the pilot program has had an adverse effect on motor carrier safety; and

(B)

make, in writing, recommendations to the Secretary.

(2)

Recommendations

If the independent review panel determines that the pilot program has had an adverse effect on motor carrier safety, the panel shall recommend, in writing, to the Secretary—

(A)

such modifications to the pilot program as the panel determines are necessary to address such adverse effect; or

(B)

termination of the pilot program.

(c)

Response

Not later than 5 days after the date of a written determination of the independent review panel that the pilot program has had an adverse effect on motor carrier safety, the Secretary shall take such action as may be necessary to address such adverse effect or terminate the pilot program.

5.

Inspector General Review

(a)

In general

The Inspector General of the Department of Transportation—

(1)

shall monitor and review the pilot program;

(2)

not later than 12 months after the date of initiation of the pilot program, shall submit to Congress and the Secretary of Transportation a 12-month interim report on the Inspector General’s findings regarding the pilot program; and

(3)

not later than 18 months after the date of initiation of the pilot program, shall submit to Congress and the Secretary an 18-month interim report with the Inspector General’s findings regarding the pilot program.

(b)

Safety determinations

The interim reports submitted under subsection (a) shall include the determination of the Inspector General of—

(1)

whether the Secretary has established sufficient mechanisms to determine whether the pilot program is having any adverse effects on motor carrier safety;

(2)

whether the Secretary is taking sufficient action to ensure that motor carriers domiciled in Mexico and participating in the pilot program are in compliance with all Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations and section 350 of Public Law 107–87; and

(3)

the sufficiency of monitoring and enforcement activities by the Secretary and States to ensure compliance with such laws and regulations by such carriers.

(c)

Report to congress

Not later than 60 days after the date of submission of the 18-month interim report of the Inspector General under this section, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on—

(1)

the actions the Secretary is taking to address any motor carrier safety issues raised in one or both of the interim reports of the Inspector General;

(2)

evaluation of the Secretary whether granting authority to additional motor carriers domiciled in Mexico to operate beyond United States municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border would have any adverse effects on motor carrier safety;

(3)

modifications to Federal motor carrier safety laws and regulations or special procedures that the Secretary determines are necessary to enhance the safety of operations of motor carriers domiciled in Mexico in the United States; and

(4)

any recommendations for legislation to make the pilot program permanent or to expand operations of motor carriers domiciled in Mexico in the United States beyond municipalities and commercial zones on the United States-Mexico border.

6.

Duration of Pilot Program

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Transportation may carry out the pilot program under this Act for a period not to exceed 3 years; except that, if the Secretary does not comply with any provision of this Act, the authority of the Secretary to carry out the pilot program terminates.

(b)

Final report

Not later than 60 days after the last day of the pilot program, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a final report on the pilot program.

Passed the House of Representatives May 15, 2007.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.