Move grows to prohibit double tractor-trailer rigs on Mexican highways
The opposition to semi-tractors pulling two trailers is growing as yet another political party has presented a legislative proposal to Congress.
The bill comes as the most recent wreck involving such a tractor-trailer rig claimed 13 lives in Veracruz on Friday Sept. 30.
The Citizens’ Movement party (MC) seeks to prohibit the practice and backed up its position with data that indicates that two-trailer rigs in particular and cargo transportation in general are the main causes of most traffic accidents on Mexican highways.
The proposal presented by the Citizens’ Movement party observed that 84% of domestic cargo is transported by trucks and “during 2013 alone those trucks were involved in 18,000 accidents.”
The document observed that the number of fatalities due to traffic accidents is close to 20,000 a year.
The proposal quoted a study by the Finance Secretariat that said 90% of accidents involving cargo trucks could be prevented if greater transit safety measures were implemented.
The same study said the three most important factors in transit safety were the human component, proper truck maintenance and tire inspections.
The MC’s proposal also noted that while the trucking industry is growing by 12% annually, its fleet is aging. Average age of the vehicles is 18 years, “which means they are less efficient and pollute more.”
With a yearly average of 1,683 traffic accidents, the Mexico City-Puebla highway is the most dangerous in the country, followed by Tepic-Mazatlán, with an average of 1,490, the party said.
The highways linking Mexico City and Querétaro and Querétaro and Irapuato, meanwhile, see an average of just under 1,100 traffic accidents per year.
The MC is the fifth party to propose measures to regulate double tractor-trailers. Among them: that they be prohibited from traveling on federal highways and in urban areas, special lanes be created for transport trucks and that trailer length be restricted to 25 meters and weight to 45 tonnes.
Last Friday saw the most recent fatal accident involving a double tractor-trailer when 13 people died.
A bus heading from Mexico City to Villahermosa, Tabasco, rear-ended a double semi carrying concrete structures on the Córdoba-Veracruz highway.
The crash occurred in the mountainous municipality of Amatlán and caused the bus to catch fire, killing the 13 passengers who were trapped inside.
A reserve driver and one passenger survived the crash but were in critical condition on the weekend.