Hours of service waiver extended for COVID relief haulers

Trucking news and briefs for Monday, Feb. 15, 2021:

FMCSA extends hours of service waiver for COVID relief haulers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending its hours of service waiver for truck drivers hauling relief supplies related to the COVID-19 pandemic through May 31. The waiver was most recently set to expire Feb. 28.

Motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19 are exempt from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Under the terms of the waiver, direct COVID-19 assistance is limited to the transportation of the following:

  • Livestock and livestock feed
  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores

Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.

The agency notes in its most recent waiver renewal that it intends “to wind down the exemptions granted under this emergency declaration and related COVID-19 regulatory relief measures to the extent possible.”