Requirements on truckers’ service hours were temporarily suspended nationwide for those providing help related to the coronavirus, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said March 13.
An emergency declaration (No. 2020-02), which is to remain in effect until April 12 or until the end of the emergency, suspended hours-of-service rules for motor carriers and drivers providing assistance related to COVID-19.
Covered by the order are those transporting medical supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 testing, diagnosis, and treatment or for use by health-care workers, patients, or for community safety.
Those designated by a government authority to provide transportation related to medical care, isolation, or quarantine are covered, as are those providing transportation tied to the establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19.
Drivers helping to provide emergency restocking of food in stores also are covered by the order.
Excluded from the temporary rules are drivers making routine commercial deliveries and those transporting mixed loads that include supplies, equipment, or people unrelated to the pandemic.
Drivers who have completed deliveries must receive at least 10 hours of off-duty time if they transported property, or eight hours off duty if they transported passengers, the administration said. Direct assistance ends after a driver or truck engages in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services unrelated to the emergency, and after a driver is sent to another location for commercial purposes.