Truckers’ refusal to obey HOS is extended till 2022
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is again proposing to make work easier for truckers who transport certain cargos during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, November 29, the FMCSA extended the declaration on acquittal sections 390 to 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) until February 28, 2022. These sections refer to the working hours of drivers who provide direct assistance during a crisis.
The previous renewal was issued on August 31, 2021 and had to expire on November 30, 2021.
The FMCSA says the extension was made despite the fact that the number of COVID-19 cases is declining because “the ongoing problems appeared due to COVID-19 continue to affect the USA, including the impact on supply chains.”
The rules apply to the categories of truckers who carry:
1. Livestock and livestock feed.
2. Medical supplies and equipment relating to testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
3. Vaccines, their constituent products, medical supplies and equipment, including auxiliary materials / vaccine administration kits, related to the prevention of COVID-19.
4. Supplies and equipment necessary for public safety, sanitation and the prevention of public transmission of COVID-19, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
5. Food, paper products and other emergency restocking products at distribution centers or stores.
6. Gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and ethanol.
7. Supplies to help people affected by the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
The FMCSA also repeated that denial of the HOS rights doesn`t give carriers the right to force tired drivers to work. Any driver who informs the trucking carrier that he needs to rest must be given 10 hours before returning to work.
Drivers functioning under the denial of the HOS rights must continue to comply with controlled substance and alcohol use and testing requirements, commercial driving licenses, hazardous materials safety permits, financial liability (insurance) requirements, and vehicle width and length.
The first emergency rejection was issued by FMCSA in March 2020 under the Trump administration and since then it has been extended and supplemented as the pandemic continues.