The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended nationwide regulatory relief for truck drivers hauling relief supplies for Coronavirus/COVID-19.
The initial Hours of Service (HOS) waiver was issued on March 13 and was set to expire on Sunday, April 12. It suspended certain hours of service requirements for drivers hauling goods in response to the Coronavirus emergency.
On April 8, FMCSA announced the extension of the emergency declaration waiver through May 15, 2020.
“Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, FMCSA is providing additional regulatory relief to our nation’s commercial drivers to get critically important medical supplies, food, and household goods to Americans in need. The nation’s truck drivers are on the front lines of this effort and are critical to America’s supply chain. We will continue to support them and use our authority to protect the health and safety of the American people,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.
Notably, the HOS waiver extension now includes regulatory relief for drivers who are transporting liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems.
FMCSA says that the extended HOS waiver applies to drivers hauling the following items:
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
- Immediate precursor raw materials—such as paper, plastic or alcohol—that are required and to be used for the manufacture of essential items.
- Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine.
- Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes.
- Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services.
The HOS waiver does not apply to routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of the emergency declaration, FMCSA notes.
Additionally, FMCSA specifies that once a driver has completed his or her delivery, the drive must receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty if transporting property, and 8 hours if transporting passengers.
To view the full expanded emergency declaration, please click here.