The FMCSA issued a nation-wide hours-of-service (HOS) regulatory relief to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers during the national emergency declaration at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, now extending it through June 14, 2020. Since the Presidentially declared COVID-19 national emergency still remains in place, the FMCSA is extending the Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 and associated regulatory relief in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25.
The FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration states that this will apply to CMV drivers transporting emergency relief supplies that meet the following:
“(1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
(2) 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;
(3) food for emergency restocking of stores;
(4) equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID19;
(5) persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
(6) persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.”
According to the FMCSA, drivers who are not considered as “direct assistance” for supplying COVID-19 essentials include drivers who are making routine commercial deliveries or transporting mixed loads with essential supplies, equipment, and persons who are not related to the emergency relief efforts.
Essential workers, such as truck drivers who are providing relief during the COVID-19 pandemic, are sacrificing their health to ensure the transportation of supplies, equipment, and persons. Although these employees might be spending time alone in their truck for hours at a time, there are circumstances in which they might face an increased risk of exposure. The Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued guidance on practices to help long-haul truck drivers remain safe and healthy while working.
Employers and employees alike should address the CDC website and try to implement these practices to the best of their ability during this time. Some recommendations include but aren’t limited to:
More precautions and recommendations can be found by visiting the CDC website long-haul truck driver page here.
The FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration will continue to apply standard safety practices on the road and should NOT be interpreted as an exemption from:
In addition, to continue to ensure safety on the roadways during this time, drivers must get a minimum of 10 hours off duty if transporting property, or eight hours if transporting passengers, once they have completed their delivery. Carriers or drivers who are currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief of this Emergency Declaration until all applicable conditions have been met for their rescission, and the order has been rescinded.
During this unprecedented time, DISA has the professionals to assist you with ensuring that your drivers remain compliant and well-informed of any new requirements or changes due to the emergency situation. Regardless of the DOT agency you report to, we can offer assistance with FAA, FRA, FTA, FMCSA, PHMSA, and USCG and our DOT mandated services include:
About DISA Global Solutions
Founded in 1987, DISA is the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. Headquartered in Houston, with more than 35 offices throughout the U.S. and Canada, DISA’s comprehensive scope of services includes drug and alcohol testing, background screening, occupational health, and transportation compliance. DISA assists employers in making informed staffing decisions while building a culture of safety in their workplace.