The previous extension was set to expire at the end of August 31st. Now, only a few hours before it was set to expire, the FMCSA has extended it again.
COVID-19 Emergency Details
It is the same song and dance as the previous extensions; you can see all of the details on the webpage.
In general, it is an hours-of-service exemption for haulers that are hauling things either directly (vaccinations, testing kits) or indirectly (toilet paper, gasoline) to the coronavirus pandemic.
As per usual, the exemption does not give a driver the privilege to drive while exhausted, so a trucker that needs a break must be given a ten-hour break if they have gone beyond the usual regulations, whether they are tired or have finished the journey.
Most of all, the exemption does not allow drivers to ignore other laws and regulations in place. Truckers cannot do acts such as speeding, driving while using a phone, or driving on the wrong side of the freeway.
This is the closest the FMCSA has allowed the state of COVID-19 emergency to expire before the extension. It will last until the end of November; whether or not it is extended once more is anyone’s guess.
Assuming the pandemic started on March 15th, 2020, we are almost eighteen months into the event. We usually say to wear gloves at the diesel pump to reduce the chances of contracting the coronavirus, but we realized it is just a good idea all around: you have no idea where other truckers’ hands have been.
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