The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an Emergency Declaration suspending federal Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for operations engaged in COVID-19 emergency relief through the termination of the emergency or April 12, whichever comes first. This announcement follows President Trump declaring COVID-19 a national emergency on March 13.
This Declaration is imperative in ensuring that vital supplies and transportation services are distributed to areas requiring emergency relief. Your fleet must be providing direct emergency assistance in order to meet exemption requirements, and additional restrictions still apply. According to the FMCSA, drivers and carriers should still coordinate with state emergency officials to verify they’re covered under this exemption, as state regulations regarding weight, taxes, and size may not be waived.
The FMCSA also emphasizes that it is of utmost importance that motor carriers maintain responsibility and prioritize the safety of their drivers in order to avoid hazardous incidents brought on by fatigued driving that could jeopardize safety and the expedited transport and distribution of time-sensitive emergency aid.
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