FMCSA to Suspend H.O.S. Nationwide as COVID-19 Declared a “National Emergency”
BREAKING: FMCSA Officially Suspends H.O.S. Nationwide in Support of Coronavirus Relief Efforts, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY
Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is expected to issue a nationwide suspension of hours of service (HOS) regulations after President Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a “national emergency.”
On Friday, from the Rose Garden at the White House, President Trump declared the coronavirus crises a “national emergency.”
Flanked by Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, President Trump said, “I am officially declaring a national emergency — two very big words.”
In an email sent to members of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) shortly following President Trump’s declaration announcement, Dan Horvath, V.P. of Safety and Policy, wrote, “We understand that FMCSA will be issuing an emergency proclamation suspending federal HOS regulations for operations engaged in emergency relief related to COVID-19. We expect FMCSA to post the specific criteria of this proclamation on their website, including clarifying information about the types of loads and work covered.”
Horvath also noted that “motor carriers and drivers remain responsible for ensuring that drivers are receiving sufficient rest and are not operating fatigued.”
The FMCSA has yet to make a public statement on the matter, but intrastate waivers were beginning to mount in states around the country to ensure truckers could deliver vital supplies more expeditiously.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) was first to report that on Thursday the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) sent President Trump a letter asking him to declare a national emergency and immediately suspend HOS regulations nationwide in light of the “severe strain” the pandemic is causing to America’s supply chain.
“Such a Declaration would address these emergency conditions, provide for the continued delivery of supplies, equipment, fuel and effect necessary relief,” the SBTC wrote.
The SBTC also launched a WhiteHouse.gov petition in conjunction with sending the letter.
You can read and/or sign the petition HERE.
Stay logged on to TransportationNation.com or follow TNN on social media for the latest alerts as we will bring you the specifics of the FMCSA’s expected emergency relief measures as soon as they are published.
As for President Trump’s declaration, it will release an additional $50 billion in federal aid and allow the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to tap into $40 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund.
FEMA plans to use the funds to mobilize personnel more quickly and provide more assistance to state and local leaders battling the health crises.
“Our overriding goal is to stop the spread of the virus,” Trump said. “This will pass … and we’ll be even stronger for it.”
Representatives from large retailers such as Walmart, CVS, Walgreens, and Target were on-hand to discuss what they were doing to make sure store shelves stayed full of essentials such as paper products, food, water, and cleaning supplies.
Additionally, leaders of the mega companies said they were working in concert with each other to set up drive-thru coronavirus testing sites at locations around the country.
TNN will continue to monitor new developments.