It is no surprise that due to the adjacent proximity of Canada to the United States that it is one of our greatest partners in commerce. So much so that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) wants to give assistance to drivers in the Great White North in a time of unprecedented rainfall.
The entire declaration can be read on the relevant webpage. As a summary, the declaration declares that record rain in Canada is causing mudslides and flooding that makes the delivery of goods providing relief due to those natural disasters more complicated than it otherwise would be. The FMCSA is allowing Canadian drivers to travel through the United States to bypass road closures and other hazards in Canada to deliver goods more safely. Furthermore, while traveling in the United States while delivering these goods, the Canadian drivers are exempt from hours-of-service regulations, with the relevant exceptions that happen for every State of Emergency.
Considering an overwhelming majority of the Canadian population lives within 100 miles of the U.S. border, this exemption, allowing Canadian drivers to travel freely through northern states such as Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota should prove to be popular.
As with all declarations, standards apply. A driver who completes his delivery while outside of normal hours-of-service must immediately take an off-duty period of ten hours or more, for example, and normal regulations such as obeying speed limits and avoiding intoxication still apply. Additionally, the load must start and end in Canada, and must be 100% disaster-relief supplies: mixing disaster-relief and standard commercial goods is prohibited and the entire load is not exempt.
It seems many geographical locations are experiencing torrential rainfall this December. Hawaii is having a similar State of Emergency, although that is only relevant to truckers there due to an inconvenience known as the Pacific Ocean. Likewise, California is the only state where you can have both exceptional drought and torrential downpour at the same time! It will be interesting to see if locations within the contiguous United States require hours-of-service exemptions due to the rain, flooding, and landslides.
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