Emergency declaration suspends regulations in North Carolina

September 25, 2023

SJ Munoz


North Carolina has declared a state of emergency, which in part suspends certain regulations for commercial motor vehicles.

The emergency declaration is a result of significant impacts from Tropical Storm Ophelia and is effective through Oct. 22.

“Certain measures are necessary to ensure the protection and safety of North Carolina residents and to coordinate the emergency response among the state and local entities and officials,” the executive order says. “The prompt restoration of utility services is essential to the safety and well-being of the state’s residents.”

Under the order, hours of service, size and weight and permit requirements are waived for vehicles assisting relief efforts.

Specifically, those hauling fuel oil, diesel oil, gasoline, kerosene, propane, liquid petroleum, gas, food, water and medical supplies to residential and commercial establishments are covered by this declaration.

Those transporting livestock, poultry or crops ready to be harvested also are granted relief at the recommendation of the North Carolina commissioner of agriculture.

“The storm’s path has been difficult to predict, and we want to ensure that farmers, first responders and utility crews have the tools necessary to prepare for severe weather,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement.

North Carolina emergency management officials said they are continually monitoring weather impacts and that the waiver will make it easier to move equipment and other resources if necessary.

Conditions of the order

Exempt vehicles must provide documentation to show their loads are for use in providing direct assistance to relief efforts.

Size and weight exemptions will be allowed on all DOT designated routes except those designated as light-traffic roads.

The direct assistance wavier terminates when a commercial motor vehicle is used in intrastate or interstate commerce to transport cargo or to provide services that are not in support of emergency efforts, or when the motor carrier dispatches commercial motor vehicles to another location to begin operations in commerce.

When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operation, a 10-hour break is required if the driver operated 14 hours or more, whether conducting emergency efforts or a combination of emergency efforts and normal operations. LL

More Land Line coverage of North Carolina news.