Daily dispatch, March 6: Hours of service regs suspended in Tennessee following severe storms

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, March 6, 2020:

Hours of service regs suspended for emergency relief haulers in Tennessee
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a Regional Emergency Declaration for Tennessee as a result of severe storms that included a tornado that hit downtown Nashville early Tuesday morning. The declaration suspends Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for those responding to the disaster providing emergency relief.

Motor carriers hauling supplies, goods, equipment and fuel into Tennessee and providing other forms of direct assistance in the state can operate under the temporary exemption. Direct assistance ends when a driver or the truck is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly related to the emergency.

The exemption is effective immediately and will stay in effect until the end of the emergency, or through April 2, whichever is sooner.

Motion picture haulers seek waiver from Drug/Alcohol Clearinghouse regs
A group representing carriers that provide transportation services to and from theatrical, commercial, television and motion picture production sites is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for relief from the CLD Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule.

Motion Picture Compliance Solutions requests that its member companies not be required to conduct a full query of the clearinghouse when hiring a driver, but instead conduct limited queries before one of its member companies hires a driver for a project.

MPCS says if the limited query indicates that information about the driver exists in the clearinghouse, the driver would not be allowed to perform safety-sensitive functions unless and until a full query shows the driver isn’t prohibited from driving a truck.  MPCS serves as a consortium for its members.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the request, which can be made for 30 days at www.regulations.gov by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2020-0101 when the request is published Friday, March 6, in the Federal Register.