New Petition Asks President Trump to Suspend H.O.S. Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Washington D.C. – A trucking group is asking President Donald Trump to declare the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency and suspend federal hours of service (HOS) regulations.
In a letter sent to President Trump on Thursday, the 15,000-member Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) argues the disruption caused by the spread of COVID-19, known as the coronavirus, “constitutes an ’emergency’ situation” requiring presidential action on behalf of truckers.
SBTC writes, “Clearly, the coronavirus pandemic plaguing our nation constitutes a bona fide emergency and its effects on people and property, including immediate threat to human life and public welfare call for presidential action. We hereby request you please make a declaration of national emergency pursuant to your authority under 49 CFR § 390.23 and issue an Executive Order suspending Federal HOS Regulations until April 1st, 2020.”
Federal law gives power to the President of the United States, the Governor of a State, or their authorized representatives to declare emergencies.
An emergency is defined as a natural or man-made occurrence which “interrupts the delivery of essential services (such as, electricity, medical care, sewer, water, telecommunications, and telecommunication transmissions) or essential supplies (such as, food and fuel) or otherwise immediately threatens human life or public welfare.
The SBTC further explains its request:
With news in the media of the virus spreading by the hour, especially in the states of Washington, California and New York, American consumers have resorted to “panic buying,” causing severe strain on America’s supply chain in this, the last month of Winter, 2020.
This crisis is expected to worsen as the virus spreads.
We believe there will be disruptions to the delivery of food and home heating oil as transportation workers are inevitably affected and unable to report to work.
This will entail significant hardships for Americans, especially in the North.
To read the SBTC’s entire letter, click HERE.
“Suspend HOS” Petition
In addition to the letter, the SBTC launched a WhiteHouse.gov petition asking President Trump to suspend HOS until April 1st, 2020.
“Such a Declaration would address these emergency conditions, provide for the continued delivery of supplies, equipment, fuel and effect necessary relief,” the petition reads.
If the petition garners at least 100,000 signatures by April 11, 2020, the White House is required to issue a response.
Click HERE to view and/or sign the petition.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow this breaking story.