What Is the Emergency Declaration?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a nationwide emergency declaration on March 13, 2020. It temporarily suspends certain FMCSA regulations and provides relief to carriers and drivers providing direct assistance related to COVID-19.
On Feb. 12, 2021, the agency extended the declaration, continuing the exemptions through May 31, 2021.1
Who Does the Emergency Declaration Impact?
The emergency declaration affects commercial drivers who transport:2
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment needed for testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
- Vaccines, constituent products, medical supplies and equipment for vaccine administration related to COVID-19 prevention
- Supplies for community safety, sanitation and infection prevention
- Food for emergency restocking at stores
- Equipment and supplies to create and manage temporary housing, quarantine and isolation facilities
Details About the Temporary Suspension of FMCSA Regulations
Here are seven things you should know about the available relief:
- Drivers responding to provide “direct assistance” to an “emergency” are exempt from FMCSA regulations in all states on their route. Be aware that direct assistance doesn’t include routine commercial deliveries.
- The temporary suspension doesn’t exempt drivers and carriers from other regulations, such as having a commercial driver’s license or following drug and alcohol laws.
- The emergency must be on-going and drivers have to be providing direct assistance to be exempt from safety regulations.
- It’s not necessary for drivers to carry a copy of the declaration, unless it’s stated.
- Drivers should coordinate with state emergency officials before providing assistance. Certain states may not have waived regulations for size and weight, permits or taxes.
- Be sure your drivers don’t operate vehicles if they’re tired or sick. Using good judgment is key.
- For more details, read the entire Emergency declaration.
Be aware that details about the emergency order and FMCSA regulations can change. Stay up to date through FMCSA’s website to get the most current information on extensions and resources.
Keep Your Drivers Safe on the Road
It’s important that you continue monitoring your drivers while they’re on the road. Tired drivers are a danger to themselves and others. Understanding how to manage driver fatigue can help keep your employees safe. If your driver needs to rest, you have to give them at least 10 consecutive hours off before they’re required to drive again.
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1, 2 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, “Extension of the Expanded Modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 Under 49 CFR § 390.25”