US Department of Transportation Issues Emergency Declaration for HOS Relief

July 13, 2020 •

Originally Published: March 23, 2020

Department of Transportation

Update as of July 13, 2020: The FMCSA declares that the continuing national emergency warrants the extension of Emergency Declaration through August 14, 2020. The exemption will continue to support direct emergency assistance for supply chains.

Update as of May 15, 2020: The FMCSA has extended the emergency declaration through June 14th, 2020, allowing motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the COVID-19 emergency relief efforts to continue operating under the exemptions set forth in the declaration through that date.

Update as of April 21, 2020: To ease the burden levied by COVID-19, the FMCSA has loosened its enforcement of driver violation reporting. The 10-day period has been extended three months beyond June 30th, 2020 to notify the federal government of driver violations and convictions resulting in penalties.

Update as of April 14, 2020: FMCSA has extended its Expanded Emergency Declaration through May 15, 2020, allowing motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the COVID-19 emergency relief efforts to continue operating under the exemptions set forth in the declaration through that date.

US Department of Transportation Issues Emergency Declaration

Last week, the United States Department of Transportation issued a national emergency declaration to provide relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus pandemic. The declaration provides relief for hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.

“This declaration will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently. FMCSA is continuing to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and stands ready to use its authority to protect the health and safety of the American people,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.

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 worker, 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 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 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.

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