FMCSA is again giving carriers and drivers relief from some regulations related to the hauling of COVID-19 relief supplies. They will extend the COVID-19 emergency declaration that was set to expire on 2/28/2021. This new emergency declaration is effective at midnight February 17, 2021, and will now last through May. 31.
What does the Covid-19 Emergency Declaration include?
It includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, as included in the December 1st declaration:
- Livestock and livestock feed
- Medical supplies and equipment related to testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19
- Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
- 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
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores
FMCSA stated that, “Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.”
They also reminded that the emergency declaration does not exempt drivers from requirements relating to commercial driver licenses, drugs and alcohol, hazardous materials, and size and weight requirements.
FMCSA acting Administrator Meera Joshi wrote :
“Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle.“A driver who informs a carrier that he or she needs immediate rest shall be given at least 10 consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.”
Additionally, several other waivers are set to expire at the end of this month. Including the CDL/CLP and Medical Certificate waivers. Matrix will provide an update if any extensions are issued. Meanwhile you can check our Blog for other interesting articles you might find useful!