Mexican lawmakers continue to debate banning double tractor-trailers

Mexican lawmakers argued dueling ideas concerning the safety of dual-trailer trucks this week in Mexico City.

A forum on dual-trailer trucks, to discuss the economic benefits and road safety, was held in Mexico’s Senate Wednesday through Friday. The debate was convened by a Senate transport and communications committee.

The debate included those wanting to permanently ban dual-trailer trucks – known as fulles in Mexico – and those supporting their continued use across Mexico’s highways.

Mexican Senator Lucía Meza reiterated her position that dual-trailer trucks “threaten the lives of thousands of people and violate the labor rights of those who operate them,” according to news outlet Info-Transportes.

Meza and Senator Ricardo Monreal introduced a bill in the Senate on February 7 to “ban double-articulated vehicles and their circulation on any road in the country.”

Meza and Monreal join a growing list of politicians in Mexico pushing for bans or restrictions on the use of dual trailer trucks.

In Mexico, there are around 600,000 tractor-trailers on the road, according to data from Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation (SCT), of which 8% are “doubles.”

Opponents of the proposed ban said it would hurt the trucking industry and slow Mexico’s economy even further.

“[Dual trailers] are involved in 4% of accidents, even though they move more than 26% of the cargo in this country,” Alex Thiessen, president of Mexico’s National Association of Private Transporters (ANTP), said during the debate.

In this scenario, the head of the ANTP emphasized that there is a high probability that initiatives that prohibit the use of multiple articulated motor transport are counterproductive. He claimed that if the measure passed it would increase the number of single-trailer trucks and that will increase the accident rate, mortality and accidents.

 “If we eliminate them, accidents will increase,” Thiessen said.

Enrique González, president of Mexico’s National Chamber of Freight Transport (CANACAR), said the problem isn’t dual-trailer trucks, it is outdated trucks.

“The average age of trucks in our current vehicle fleet is 17 years. Sadly, we have some trucks from the 1970s still on the roads,” González said.

Mexican officials have said there is no timetable for a decision on the latest bill before the Senate.