While most of America follows stay-at-home orders, so many of our brave truck drivers are on the front lines stocking the shelves of our supermarkets and providing necessary products to hospitals despite the virus threat. As of March 13. 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued Emergency Declaration 2020-002, which introduces new regulations for specific relief efforts that will extend through May 15, 2020. With this declaration, FMSCA has temporarily waived the nationwide hours-of-service regulation for those directly assisting relief efforts in response to COVID-19.
As part of our effort to best serve our drivers, Mid South Transport is working hard to make sure that we are fully compliant with these new regulations, which are outlined below.
This Emergency Declaration provides regulation relief for those carrying the above loads. Specifically, this declaration mandates that drivers providing relief assistance are not required to follow the 60/70-hour rule, a rule which limits drivers to 60 hours of service in a 7-day period or 70 hours of service in an 8-day period. Drivers, instead, have no hours-of-service restrictions and are not required to take a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving.
While drivers are not restricted in hours-of-service that can be performed, drivers are required to be off-duty for a number of hours following termination of direct assistance to relief efforts. Termination occurs when a driver is no longer providing services that are directly related to emergency relief of COVID-19 or the driver returns to normal operations, with the exception being those drivers who return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or regular reporting location following direct assistance. In the instance of termination, drivers are required to take a break of either 10 or 8 hours after completing a delivery of property or goods, respectively, and are allowed 10 consecutive hours off-duty before returning to the motor carrier’s terminal or other location if immediate rest is needed. Please contact your immediate supervisor if you have any questions regarding the Hours of service of exemption and the required documentation required for ELD’s.
With this emergency declaration, the nation’s truck drivers are able to continue to transport the products and people that are most necessary to ensure the health and well-being of the American people. While it is important to thank nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals during this time, we would also like to extend our appreciation and thanks to America’s truck drivers for their dedication and sacrifices to provide our groceries with goods and our hospitals with life-saving supplies and equipment.