The American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to extend regulatory relief for truck drivers hauling fireworks ahead of the Fourth of July holiday.
On May 4, the FMCSA announced that it had received a request from the APA to renew exemptions from certain hours of service (HOS) regulations for fireworks haulers that expired on July 8, 2020. The exemption request would apply to the transportation of pyrotechnics from June 28 through July 8 of every year from 2021 through 2025.
The APA is requesting relief from for 58 of 61 member-companies included in the 2016 through 2020 waivers or exemptions; and from the ELD rule for the same member-companies included in the 2019 through 2020 waivers or exemptions.
The APA provides several reasons for the HOS exemption request:
“APA explains that without the extra time provided by the exemption from the 14-hour rule, safety would decline because APA drivers would be unable to return to their home base after each show. They would be forced to park the CMVs carrying HM 1.1G, 1.3G and 1.4G products in areas less secure than the motor carrier’s home base.
Without the exemption from the ELD rule, these companies would be required to purchase/lease ELD systems for a limited period of 11 days. APA believes an equivalent level of safety will be achieved because the fireworks are transported over relatively short routes from distribution points to the site of the fireworks display, and normally in the early morning when traffic is light. APA also believes that fatigued driving is reduced and/or eliminated because drivers spend considerable time installing, wiring, and safety-checking the fireworks displays at the site, followed by several hours off duty in the late afternoon and early evening prior to the event; during this time, the drivers are allowed to rest or take a nap.”
The FMCSA is accepting public comment on the exemption request through June 3, 2021. You can click here to learn more or submit your comment.