Hours of Service Regulations for Truck Drivers Relaxed during COVID-19 Outbreak
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a national emergency declaration providing hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Notably, this marks the first time the FMCSA has issued nation-wide relief related to hours of service requirement.
The FMCSA decision was to help America’s commercial drivers get critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently. The declaration provides for regulatory relief for those 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 eight hours if transporting passengers. Commercial drivers before the declaration -- no matter what goods they were hauling -- were permitted to drive a maximum of 11 hours daily or be on duty 14 hours daily, both then requiring 10 hours of off-duty time.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle crash with a tractor trailer, please call the experienced commercial trucking litigators at Bordas & Bordas, PLLC, and we will be happy to answer any questions.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a national emergency declaration providing hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus outbreak.