Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Sept. 4 declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties within the state in response to Hurricane Irma.
In issuing the declaration, Gov. Scott said that he was “ensuring that local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this dangerous storm and are not hindered, delayed or prevented from taking all necessary actions to keep communities safe.”
Under an emergency declaration, state agencies may suspend the provisions of any regulatory statutes if compliance with those provisions hinders or delays emergency response. Any waiver of statutes, rules, ordinances, or orders expires 30 days from the date of the Executive Order, unless extended by the issuing agency.
Under an emergency declaration, the Florida Department of Transportation may:
- Waive the collection of tolls and other fees and charges for the use of the Turnpike and other public highways;
- Reverse the flow of traffic or close any and all roads, highways, and portions of highways as may be needed for the safe and efficient transportation of evacuees;
- Waive the hours-of-service requirements for such vehicles;
- Waive the size-and-weight restrictions for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and agricultural commodities and citrus as recommended by the Commissioner of Agriculture, allowing the establishment of alternate size-and-weight restrictions for all such vehicles for the duration of the emergency.
The Executive Director of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) may:
- Suspend enforcement of the registration requirements pursuant to sections 316.545(4) and 320.0715, Florida Statutes, for commercial motor vehicles that enter Florida to provide emergency services or supplies;
- Waive the hours-of-service requirements for such vehicles.
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