Rev up those engines, truckers! Montana needs our help in providing relief from flooding.
On June 10th, the National Weather Services announced a Flood Watch for Montana. The National Weather Services was right to issue that statement, as some counties in the Treasure State experienced four inches of rain in that single day. Acting Governor Kristen Juras signed off on a State of Emergency on the 14th of June, applying it retroactively to the tenth.
The declaration for the State of Emergency is very much the standard: Title 49 C.F.R §§ 390- 399 for FMCSA regulations are suspended for commercial vehicles that are hauling goods directly related to the disaster. Such goods include materials to repair critical infrastructure, and supplies meant to help people who have been displaced by the flooding.
The regulations that have been suspended include the hours-of-service regulations, presumably with all of the typical rules regarding such a suspension (driving while fatigued is still disallowed and requires a ten-hour break).
Rules regarding permits have been modified. Temporary registration and temporary fuel permits are suspended for the duration of the Declaration. While permits are still needed to operate oversized and overweight vehicles and their loads, weekend, holiday, and nighttime travel of such vehicles are now permitted, provided the vehicles have the correct support to keep safety at the forefront. An example of this would be a front pilot car.
Other sections of the Declaration state rules and stipulations that are still active. The State of Emergency does not warrant the use of vehicles deemed to be unfit for service, for example, and driving under the influence of drugs is strictly prohibited by Montana.
The State of Emergency, contrast to typical declarations, does not have a set expiration date. It will be in force until it is rescinded by the acting Governor. Considering we are now officially in Summer, hopefully the Declaration will not have to stay for long as the summer heat prevents future flooding and people get the supplies they need to make a return to their normal lives.
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