Date: Thursday, October 8, 2020
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is temporarily lifting certain hours-of-service (HOS) restrictions for five Southern states as Hurricane Delta heads toward a Gulf Coast landfall Friday.
In an emergency order issued late Wednesday by the agency’s Southern and Western Service Centers, the high-end Category 2 storm, which is moving fairly quickly across the Gulf, warranted an exemption from parts 390 through 399 of federal HOS rules. The temporary exemption is the fifth emergency order issued in relation to a major storm since August.
The five states covered by the current order include Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, which are threatened by heavy rains, strong winds, storm surge, high surf and flooding, according to FMCSA.
“This emergency declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into the affected states and transporting persons into and from the affected states or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the emergency in the affected states from Hurricane Delta,” the order stated.
The order emphasized that when a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations, “a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operation, equals 14 hours.”
The HOS waiver covers parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), except as otherwise restricted in the declaration. In addition to HOS, it includes inspection and maintenance of commercial vehicles, employee safety and parking rules. FMCSR 390-399 can be viewed here.