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ADOT Conducts First Industry-Requested Checkpoint Training

ADOT Training
Murphy Woodhouse/KJZZ
editorial | staff
ADOT's Benjamin Stevens gives an overview of brake inspections to Sonoran truckers in Hermosillo.

In a small meeting room at the University of Sonora Tuesday, the Arizona Department of Transportation's Benjamin Stevens teaches the basics of brake inspections to an audience of several dozen truckers.

“During break inspections, safety comes first,” Stevens told the room.

ADOT has been training Mexican truck drivers how to consistently pass border safety inspections since last year. Now the agency is conducting its first industry-specific training this week.

Such trainings have dramatically reduced how often trucks are taken out of service at the border, according to ADOT numbers. For truckers who have not had the training, roughly 7 percent of crossings result in a truck being taken off the road. That rate for those who complete the training, however, is just .2 percent.

Seeing potential savings in time and money, the maquiladora industry asked the agency to come to Hermosillo. But it’s not just about improving profits, industry representative Gerardo Vazquez told the Fronteras Desk.

“It can help a lot, because it improves the safety conditions through driver training,” he said, adding that ongoing infrastructure projects on major Sonoran highways will also help.

Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Murphy Woodhouse has called southern Arizona home for most of the last decade. He’s one of two field correspondents at KJZZ’s Hermosillo bureau, where his reporting focuses on the trade relationship between Arizona, Sonora and the rest of Mexico.Before joining the station, Murphy was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Nogales International. Prior to his reporting career, he completed a master’s degree at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and did three wildfire seasons with the Snake River Hotshots. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.When he’s not reporting, Murphy is often out in the woods running or riding singletrack, or swinging in a hammock with a book.