The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued yet another extension of an emergency declaration providing regulatory relief for truckers hauling COVID-19 relief supplies.
The new FMCSA waiver extension was issued on February 12, 2021, and will extend a 50 state emergency declaration providing regulatory relief for truck drivers hauling certain items through May 30, 2021.
The waiver provides relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), which includes Hours of Service requirements, for drivers who are providing direct assistance during the COVID-19 crisis.
The waiver applies to truck driver who are hauling the following supplies in direct support of COVID-19 relief efforts:
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
- Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention 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.
“Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” the FMCSA stated.
The FMCSA also reiterated that the HOS waiver does not give motor carriers the right to compel fatigued drivers to operate. Any driver who informs a motor carrier that they need rest is to be given 10 hours before they are required to return to duty.
The original FMCSA emergency waiver was issued in March 2020 and has since been extended and expanded several times as the pandemic lingers.