All across the United States, more and more municipalities and states are issuing mandates for residents to stay at home and avoid unnecessary trips out in the public. Even where such mandates are not put forth, lawmakers and leaders are strongly encouraging such behavior. Compliance with these requests and requirements may help stem the tide of disease transmission while also keeping roads clear for the transport of essential goods necessary to sustain everyone during this time.
Typically, commercial truck drivers are restricted to a set number of driving hours each day and each work week per the Hours of Service rule enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The goal of this rule is to reduce trucker fatigue and thereby increase safety for all.
Now, Transport Topics reports that some truckers will be relieved from the requirement to comply with the HoS rule, at least temporarily and in select circumstances. The FMCSA has announced that commercial truckers transporting personnel or goods directly in support of combatting the pandemic’s effect may be able to drive for extended hours.
Included in the temporary rule lifting is the transport of fuel, food, non-food essential store items like toilet paper, materials to produce all such items, cleaning or sanitizing products like masks and gloves, and medical products. Medical products may include those geared at testing, diagnosing or treating COVID-19. Truckers driving items used to provide shelter during quarantine as well as medical professionals and other people to help with caring for patients or caring for those who have been exposed are also excempt from the Hours of Service rule.