As Florida braces for what could be a devastating hurricane, authorities have waived certain regulations for truckers hauling relief supplies.
With Hurricane Dorian expected to reach the U.S. mainland on September 2, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued an emergency declaration on August 28.
One day after the emergency declaration was issued, the FMCSA announced the suspension of certain regulations for drivers who are directly providing relief supplies in 26 Florida counties — Baker, Bradford, Brevard, Broward, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hendry, Highlands, Indian River, Lake, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Volusia and Union.
From the FMCSA:
Drivers responding to provide “direct assistance” to an “emergency” meeting the definitions in 49 CFR 390.5 and declared by FMCSA or a governor, are exempt from applicable regulations in all States on their route to the emergency, even though those States may not be involved in the emergency or stated in the declaration of emergency.
The FMCSA notes that the emergency declaration applies to truckers who are providing “direct assistance for the immediate restoration of essential services (such as electrical, sewer, water, and telecommunications) or essential supplies (such as food, water, medical supplies, and fuel).”
Though HOS rules are suspended, the FMCSA says drivers may not operate if they are fatigued, ill, or in any way presenting a danger to others on the roadway.
Drivers are still required to comply with CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size & weight, or State/Federal registration, and tax requirements.
The emergency waiver will expire after 60 days.
For more information on the Florida emergency declaration, please click here.