The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expanded the commercial truck driver hours-of-service regulations waiver through Feb. 28.
The agency first instituted the HOS rules exemption last year in response to the Coronavirus pandemic to ease the way for transportation of various kinds of emergency and medical supplies needed.
Since then, it has modified the emergency declaration several times to expand and remove categories of supplies, equipment and persons to respond to changing needs for emergency relief.
At the end of August, FMCSA extended and amended the modified emergency declaration and associated regulatory relief through Nov. 30.
The exemption is limited to transporting livestock and livestock feed; medical supplies and equipment related for testing, diagnosis and treatment of Covid 19; along with vaccines, constituent products, medical supplies and equipment.
Also included are ancillary supplies/kits for administering vaccines; supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of transmission, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
Also: food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol; and supplies to assist individuals impacted by the the pandemic (such as building materials for individuals displaced by the emergency)
This does not include non-emergency transportation of these commodities, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief.
“Although the number of Covid 19 cases began to decline in the United States following widespread introduction of vaccinations, persistent issues arising out of Covid 19 continue to affect the U.S., including impacts on supply chains and the need to ensure capacity to respond to variants and potential rises in infections,” FMCSA stated.