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Six states get hours of service waiver as Ida makes landfall

FMCSA relaxes on duty rules for truck drivers

Photo: FMCSA

A waiver for truck drivers supporting relief efforts tied to Hurricane Ida have been given a waiver from Hours of Service rules.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued the waiver Sunday afternoon for Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas, . The declaration was effective immediately. 

Under the emergency ruling, drive time caps are lifted for commercial vehicles under 49 CFR § 395.3 of the federal code, which covers hours of service. It covers truck drivers “providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transportation supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into the (affected states.)”

“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 Hurricane Ida,” the waiver says. 

The waiver also covers section 395.5, which is for Hours of Service restrictions on passenger-carrying vehicles, such as buses. 

Under federal safety rules, commercial truck drivers are limited to 14 on-duty hours after 10 consecutive off-hours duty. 

The emergency waiver also covers the rule restricting drivers to 60 on duty hours in a 7-day period, or 70 hours in eight consecutive days. 

Drivers are not exempted from speed limits, requirements to pull off the road if their alertness is impaired due to fatigue or other reasons, texting while driving or using alcohol or drugs.There is no waiver on ELD requirements. 

Relief from the HOS rule is contingent upon providing what FMCSA refers to as “direct assistance.”

The waiver is in effect until either a declared end to the Ida-created emergency, or the end of the day on Sept. 28, whichever comes first. 

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  1. Louis

    6 states have emergency waivers and I hope not 1 damn driver uses it. Every damn time there’s an “emergency” they want us driving outlaw, but restrict the hell outta us otherwise.

    1. Stephen Webster

      E logs have been a total disaster and is making 20 percent of experienced drivers to leave the industry. We need minimum wage rates and overtime pay and more freedom.

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.