With one more extension of the crisis hrs-of-company waiver looming, federal regulators want the trucking marketplace to enable them know to what extent carriers and drivers are truly taking edge of the exemption.
The initial-of-its-variety, 50-state exemption was at first issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Security Administration in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The get presents drivers and carriers much more time to make deliveries with out violating federal work-hour specifications. It has been modified, expanded and extended several instances as the styles of products supplied precedence for the duration of the pandemic progressed from meals and gasoline to experience masks and vaccines.
But after 17 months of the exemption staying in influence, the FMCSA will try to uncover out how beneficial it is in purchase to help advise foreseeable future extensions.
“Neither the crisis declaration nor the rules covering [it] need that motor carriers or motorists functioning less than the crisis declaration report their operation to FMCSA,” the agency stated in a Federal Register discover to be released on Friday. “As a outcome, FMCSA does not know how numerous motor carriers or drivers are relying on the emergency declaration.”
Presented the “unprecedented period” given that the waiver was 1st issued, FMCSA strategies to conduct a month-to-month survey for 6 months of an believed 1.2 million drivers and carriers to get much more information on no matter whether and how the waiver is getting made use of. The agency estimates the study will acquire 15 minutes to fill out.
As FMCSA seeks Workplace of Administration and Spending plan approval of the survey, any person who needs to remark on it, such as whether it is required or techniques to enhance it, has till Monday.
Meanwhile, the most recent extension of the waiver — issued on May 26 and established to expire on Tuesday – is slated for yet another multi-thirty day period extension, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation formal.
“We’re a team player on the industry along with our other federal company teammates that are issuing exemptions as section of the Biden administration’s holistic response to the ongoing unexpected emergency,” a DOT spokesperson told FreightWaves.
The existing edition of the waiver exempts motorists and carriers from Components 390 to 399 of federal rules — which features driver hrs of support — for these “providing immediate support in guidance of unexpected emergency reduction efforts” linked to COVID-19. It is limited people hauling:
- Livestock and livestock feed.
- Health-related materials and machines related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment method of COVID-19.
- Vaccines, constituent solutions, and healthcare materials and devices, which includes ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, linked to preventing COVID-19.
- Materials and products essential for group protection, sanitation and prevention of group transmission of COVID-19 this sort of as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, cleaning soap and disinfectants.
- Food, paper solutions and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution facilities or retailers.
Although the commodities are specified in the waiver, the exemption could be leading to confusion in the field as to what is protected, as earlier noted by FreightWaves. In addition, truck security advocates have cautioned that protection ought to be a priority in growing and extending the waiver.
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