On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service (HOS) regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers who are transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
The declaration is the first time FMCSA has issued nation-wide relief and follows President Trump issuing a national emergency declaration in response to the virus.
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 workers, 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 the 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 continued ongoing 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.
In these tumultuous times, as the nation works to contain the spread of COVID-19, TIA would like to thank the truck drivers, dispatchers, logistics companies, and all of those working to ensure that shelves are stocked, and people get the essential goods and medical supplies they need.