FMCSA coordinates with states hit by blizzards for HOS exemptions

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 2/12/2013

In the aftermath of last weekend’s blizzard that blanketed much of the northeastern U.S., six states are exempting certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations tied to hours of service.
Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have declared either a state of emergency or added certain FMCSR exemptions.
FMCSA and the specific states are allowing temporary exemptions of certain federal trucking regulations specifically for trucks and drivers delivering relief supplies and certain other products.
FMCSA said the exemptions “do NOT apply to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size and weight, or state/Federal registration and tax requirements.” FMCSA directed truck drivers to examine each state’s emergency proclamations to be certain of exemptions.
Each state offers differing timelines and scope of which drivers it is allowing exemptions.
Connecticut is suspending requirements for enforcement of International Registration Plan, though its hours-of-service exemption expires Wednesday, Feb. 13. New York is allowing trucks and drivers providing direct relief to be exempt “for the duration of … their direct assistance.”
New Jersey and New York each added hours-of-service exemptions for drivers delivering heating fuels. Rhode Island exempts drivers delivering home heating fuel, propane and liquid natural gas.
For a complete list with links to each state’s specific exemptions, click here.
FMCSA warned against drivers working while they’re too tired.
“Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways,” FMCSA said on its website.

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