FMCSA Extends and Expands Emergency Declaration
On April 8, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) extended and expanded its emergency declaration. The Emergency Declaration, which had been issued to move essential supplies more efficiently to combat the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, was first issued on March 13, 2020. The initial declaration waived hours-of-service requirements for drivers carrying essential supplies such as food and medical equipment to help fight the coronavirus. Subsequent declarations have expanded the scope of essential goods as well as waived other portions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs).
In its latest declaration, the FMCSA is expanding its list of essential services to now include the transportation of liquefied gases to be used in cooling or refrigeration systems. Additionally, the declaration extends the exemption from FMCSRs 390-399 through May 15, 2020, as the exemption was set to expire on April 12. Finally, the exemption clarified that, while the agency is exempting operators from certain FMCSRs, operators are not exempt from 49 C.F.R. 392.2—relating to operation of commercial motor vehicles in accordance with state laws such as speed limits and traffic restrictions—or 49 C.F.R. 392.3—relating to operation of a commercial motor vehicle due to a driver’s alertness being so impaired or likely to become impaired due to fatigue or illness that would make it unsafe for him/her to continue driving. You may view the complete emergency declaration issued by FMCSA by clicking here.
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