Mexico’s transport is at risk

Mexico registers tragic accidents in roads, often caused by truck drivers

Mexico’s transport is at risk
n many occasion, drivers obtain medical certificates even when they are unfit - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 13/01/2020 09:25 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:29
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In Mexico and in any other country, truck drivers are part of an essential industry as they transport millions of products and people every day. Moreover, a large part of economic dynamism and development depend on this sector.

What happens if truck drivers are not fit to drive? Nowadays, we ignore if thousands of drivers in charge of public transport are physically and psychologically fit to carry out their job, especially now that we know some of them illegally obtained a medical certificate. How big is the risk?

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Today EL UNIVERSAL reveals that the Communication and Transport Ministry (SCT) found corruption and mismanagement in regards to the medical certificates requested to truck drivers. With this document, the drivers can obtain or renew their driver’s license to drive a truck, airplane, or ship.

Since federal authorities can’t provide over 300,000 “psychophysical” and toxicological exams every year, previous administrations delegated this responsibility to 218 clinics, which carried out up to 93% of the medical exams.

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In an inspection carried out by the current administration, authorities found malpractice in those clinics, which saw a business in lab tests. Later, their permits were canceled by the SCT and now it will be in charge of the exams. However, the ministry will several challenges, especially having the proper infrastructure to carry out the medical exams but only 49 clinics operate and 34 of them are not equipped to offer medical attention, a short-staffed, and old equipment.

Moreover, the problem is becoming increasingly complicated as the SCT foresees a hike in the demand; from 1,219,277 requests for medical exams in 2020 to 1,800,000 in 2024.

A few days ago, EL UNIVERSAL revealed that authorities found flaws in the satellite network system used by air traffic controllers, which could result in an accident. Now, we’ve learned about doctors giving medical certificates to truck drivers.

This sector can’t allow risks since the lives of people and the transport of products depends on it.

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