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A Year into Program, ADOT Touts Border Truck Violation Reduction

Truck inspections
Arizona Department of Transportation
handout | agency
A Nogales port-of-entry official inspects a tractor-trailer.

The Arizona Department of Transportation is crediting a new program with reducing violations and waits at the border for Mexican truckers.

Over the last year, ADOT inspectors have held 16, two-day trainings in Mexico with more than 400 truck drivers and mechanics. The idea is to help them avoid violations during ADOT inspections that can result in lengthy, costly delays.

“Certainly it provides for safer trucks when they come across the border into Arizona if the drivers and mechanics know what we're looking for when they cross the border,” agency spokesman Tom Herrmann told KJZZ. “If trucks are able to come into Nogales, three, four, five, six times a day rather than once or twice because of delays at the border, then we’re helping the trucking companies with their bottom line, but we’re also helping the economy in Arizona by giving more business to those warehouses.”

The agency points to violation data as evidence of the program’s effectiveness. Since receiving their training, participants have crossed the border more than 5,000 times, and ADOT inspectors found just 130 minor violations. However, the agency was not able to provide data on those drivers before the training, or anything else to compare the numbers to by deadline.

Also as part of the program, Mexican drivers and mechanics can send photos of equipment to inspectors prior to heading to the port. That way problems can be sorted out before it’s too late.

Six more trainings are planned in Mexico in 2018, according to ADOT.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.