FMCSA Ends COVID-19 State of Emergency Waiver
Thirty-one months to flatten the curve.
In our last update regarding the coronavirus State of Emergency from the FMCSA, we talked about how the change in pace from the exemption being renewed every ninety days to every forty-five days could mean the Declaration may be on its last legs. It appears that that rings true, as of October 15th the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has allowed the exemption to lapse for the first time in over two-and-a-half years.
The FMCSA asked truckers for their opinions on the Declaration and whether or not it should be retired. Opinions were split. Many truckers commented that they enjoyed the flexibility of driving when rested and not having to abide by strict timings, while the American Trucking Associations said that the waiver has gone on long enough.
The FMCSA must agree with the latter, as reading on the declarations webpage states, “There are no active Emergency Declarations at this time.” The only way to read about former news regarding the pandemic is through the COVID-19 Archives.
The potential for similar Declarations to come at the state level, not just for the virus itself but also to help mitigate the economic slowdown resulting from the virus, is still on the table, but the FMCSA is wiping its hands clean.
The end of the exemption also applies to relaxed training guidelines.
Thank you for joining us on this journey spanning over thirty months and fifteen different articles (at least for the hours-of-service declarations). We hope with our fingers crossed that this is the last time we will have to categorize an article with “coronavirus”, but due to the supply chain shortages that have reverberated across the world as a result of stay-at-home orders, we are not holding our breath.
Regardless, this is a good day in the trucking industry, as news regarding the shipping of vaccines and toilet paper (remember those early days?) will slowly fade over the horizon.
In spite of everything that has occurred, we hope that you will keep some of the habits that were picked up over the course of this event: touching that petri dish of a diesel pump still justifies a quality hand washing!
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