The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on March 18, 2020, expanded its national Declaration of Emergency to provide Hours-of-Service regulatory relief for commercial drivers to include the transportation of fuel.
NATSO and organizations representing nearly all gasoline and diesel fuel sold at retail yesterday urged FMCSA to expand the HOS waiver issued on March 13 to ensure that critical supplies reach their destination and to ensure that first responders, hospital workers and emergency response vehicles have uninhibited access to fuel.
The groups made the request proactively to ensure that there would not be a broad run on fuel.
FMCSA's expanded declaration now provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting relief efforts to meet the following 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 stores or distribution centers;
- equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID19;
- persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
- persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.
The expanded declaration stipulates that direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed deliveries with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added. Once a driver has completed his or her delivery the driver must receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty if transporting property and eight hours if transporting passengers.
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