FMCSA Extends Emergency H.O.S. Exemption, “Considering” Petition to Delay Final Rule
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has once again extended its historic 50-state hours of service (HOS) exemption for motor carriers directly engaged in COVID-19 relief efforts.
As coronavirus cases continue to rise, the FMCSA is once again extending the unprecedented regulatory relief through August 14, 2020.
The existing extension issued in June was due to expire on July 14.
FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen spoke about the extension on Monday during a Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee meeting.
“We all are seeing what’s happening with the increased cases, and hopefully that gets back on the decline, but we felt it was prudent to continue that emergency declaration for another 30 days,” Mullen said.
The exemption remains limited to transportation of: livestock and livestock feed; medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; and 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.
Mullen also commented about a recent challenge to the Agency’s newly issued HOS final rule set to take effect September 29, 2020.
Last month, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters along with four safety groups filed a Petition for Reconsideration with the FMCSA to stay the effective date of the new HOS rule until it can be reviewed further.
The 67-page petition, which was obtained by TNN, argues the “Final Rule is not in the public interest” and “violates the Agency’s duty to place public safety as its highest priority.”
During Monday’s meeting Mullen indicated the Agency is reviewing the petition, but expressed confidence the rule is still on track to be implemented as scheduled.
“There’s a petition for reconsideration which we’re considering, but we do believe that the HOS [changes] can provide the flexibility for drivers needed so that they can operate more safely,” he said.
Click HERE to read more of the Teamster’s challenge to HOS.