Fireworks haulers want small expansion of 14-hour rule reprieve

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Updated May 15, 2017
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The American Pyrotechnics Association, which last year was granted an exemption from the federal 14-hour on-duty rules for its 51 member companies for the Independence Day holiday period, is seeking the same exemption for another member company, Pyro Shows of Alabama. The exemption granted last year is good through 2020. The new request would, if granted, add Pyro Shows of Alabama to the list of companies waived from compliance with the 14-hour rule in the weeks surrounding July 4.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted the exemption last summer to allow the companies to extend the 14-hour on-duty window by excluding off-duty and sleeper-berth time of any length. Drivers covered under the exemption would still not be allowed to drive more than 11 hours in the 14-hour on-duty period, and they still must take a full 10 hours off duty after 14 hours of on-duty time.

If granted the exemption, Pyro Shows of Alabama would be able to use the exemption between June 28 and 11:59 p.m. on July 8, each year through 2020.

The fireworks hauling group says drivers are responsible for setup and staging of fireworks shows when they arrive at show locations, and to meet the demand for the shows without the exemptions, the companies would have to hire a second driver for most trips.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the exemption request, which can be made by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2007-28043 at www.regulations.gov.