• ITVI.USA
    11,173.640
    -147.240
    -1.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    5.120
    0.130
    2.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,150.460
    -154.410
    -1.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.560
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.020
    0.120
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.590
    0.110
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.380
    -0.030
    -2.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    1.930
    0.070
    3.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.140
    0.040
    3.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.390
    0.030
    1.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    -19.000
    -13.7%
  • ITVI.USA
    11,173.640
    -147.240
    -1.3%
  • OTRI.USA
    5.120
    0.130
    2.6%
  • OTVI.USA
    11,150.460
    -154.410
    -1.4%
  • TLT.USA
    2.560
    0.000
    0%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.020
    0.120
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    1.590
    0.110
    7.4%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.380
    -0.030
    -2.1%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    1.930
    0.070
    3.8%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    1.140
    0.040
    3.6%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    2.390
    0.030
    1.3%
  • WAIT.USA
    120.000
    -19.000
    -13.7%
Driver issuesNewsTrucking Regulation

FMCSA extends COVID-19 HOS exemption to mid-June

Federal regulators have extended until June 14 broad exemptions from hours-of-service (HOS) rules for drivers hauling freight deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extension, issued today (May 13), marks the second time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) exemption has been extended since the original order was put in place immediately following the national emergency declared by President Donald Trump on March 12. The first extension of the order, issued on April 8, was set to expire on May 15.

“Because the Presidentially declared COVID-19 national emergency remains in place, FMCSA is extending the Emergency Declaration…and associated regulatory relief in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25,” the FMCSA’s latest order noted.

“This extension of the Emergency Declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and persons, and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers engaged in the transport of essential supplies, equipment and persons.”

Carriers and drivers hauling freight that supports COVID-19 relief efforts have been granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of federal motor carrier regulations, which includes HOS rules. The exemption was soon expanded to include raw materials and other cargo considered essential to coronavirus pandemic relief. 

FMCSA re-emphasized that the exemption order does not include routine commercial deliveries. The exemption also does not apply to loads that include a “nominal quantity” of emergency relief that has been added to the truck as a way to use the exemption to move non-essential cargo.

The exemption includes transportation to meet immediate needs for:

  • 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 items included in categories listed above. 
  • Fuel. 
  • Liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems. 
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19. 
  • Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes. 
  • Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response. 

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John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent

Based in Washington, D.C., John specializes in regulation and legislation affecting all sectors of freight transportation. He has covered rail, trucking and maritime issues since 1993 for a variety of publications based in the U.S. and the U.K. John began business reporting in 1993 at Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. He graduated from Florida State University majoring in English and business.

2 Comments

  1. Emergency Declaration Restrictions & Limitations

    By execution of this extension to Emergency Declaration 2020-002, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the Nationwide emergency are not granted emergency relief from, and must continue to comply with, the following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and conditions:

    49 CFR § 392.2 related to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with State laws and regulations, including compliance with applicable speed limits and other traffic restrictions.
    49 CFR § 392.3 related to operation of a commercial motor vehicle while a driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the motor vehicle.

    3. Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he/she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.

    A motor carrier whose driver is involved in a crash while operating under this emergency declaration must report any recordable crash within 24 hours, by phone or in writing, to the FMCSA Division Office where the motor carrier is domiciled. The carrier must report the date, time, location, driver, vehicle identification, and brief description of the crash.

    Nothing in this Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substance and alcohol uses and testing requirement (49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver’s license requirements (49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements (49 CFR Part 387), the hazardous material regulations (49 CFR Parts 100-180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically exempted under 49 CFR § 390.23.

    Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA in writing.

    Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce. (49 CFR § 390.23(b)). Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399. When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operations equals 14 hours.

    So the article should read, “certain Parts…”

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