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FMCSA Declares Hours-of-Service Regulatory Relief for Commercial Drivers

March 20, 2020
Emergency declaration aims to help get critical goods to impacted areas faster.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service (HOS) regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This declaration is believed to be the first time the agency has issued nationwide relief and follows President Trump’s issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to the virus.

“This declaration will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently,” says Jim Mullen, FMCSA’s acting administrator. The agency will continue to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and is prepared to use its authority to protect the health and safety of the nation, Mullen added.

FMCSA’s declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts intended to meet immediate needs for:

● Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

● Supplies and equipment—including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants—necessary for healthcare worker, patient and community safety, sanitation, and prevention of COVID-19 spread in communities.

● Food for emergency restocking of stores.

● Equipment, supplies and persons necessary for establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19.

● Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for transport for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.

● Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services.

To ensure continue safety on the nation’s roadways, the emergency declaration stipulates that once a driver has completed his or her delivery, the driver must receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty if transporting property, and 8 hours if transporting passengers.

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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