FMCSA extends emergency hours-of-service waiver until July 14

June 9, 2020

Land Line Staff

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended its emergency declaration yet again.

The declaration, which provides relief from hours-of-service regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, has been extended until July 14. It had been set to expire June 14.

“This extension addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, and provides necessary relief from (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations) for motor carriers and drivers,” FMCSA wrote.

On March 13, FMCSA issued its first federal hours-of-service waiver in the history of the agency. That waiver was expanded on March 18 and then extended and further expanded on April 8. On May 13, the declaration was extended until June 14.

The unprecedented federal waiver is now set to last at least four months.

The FMCSA extension provides relief for commercial motor vehicle drivers transporting:

  • Livestock and livestock feed.
  • 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.

This extension removes some of the categories that previously qualified.

“Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” the agency wrote. “FMCSA has concluded that there is no longer a need for emergency relief with respect to the other categories of supplies, equipment and persons covered by the May 13 extension and expansion of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-02, and those categories are therefore no longer covered.”

The FMCSA also emphasized that the declaration doesn’t give motor carriers the ability to make truckers haul a load even when they say they are tired.

“Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle,” FMCSA wrote. “A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least 10 consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.”

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