U.S. eases HOS rules for truck drivers moving Covid-19 relief

by Today’s Trucking

March 14, 2020

Covid-19 virus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. has issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service (HOS) relief to interstate truck drivers moving emergency supplies in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. It’s the first time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued such nation-wide relief.

There are still limits, though. Once a driver completes a delivery, they much take 10 hours off duty if transporting property, and eight hours off duty if transporting passengers. The rule also applies to specific goods and needs.

Routine commercial deliveries, or mixed loads that include essential supplies and equipment outside those involved in supporting emergency relief efforts, are not included.

“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.

The relief applies to operations that offer direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts, intended to meet the 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.

*Equipment, supplies and people needed to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine and isolation facilities relating to Covid-19.

*Food for emergency restocking of stores.

Relief is also provided for those moving people needed to establish temporary housing and quarantine facilities; for medical, isolation or quarantine purpose; and personnel to provide medical or other emergency services.

To read FMCSA’s national emergency declaration, visit: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency/emergency-declaration-under-49-cfr-ss-39023-no-2020-002