The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Friday evening that truck drivers who are moving goods “in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks” will temporarily not have to follow the hours-of-service rule, which mandates how many hours a truck driver may work. Truck drivers hauling medical supplies and equipment, including masks, gloves and hand sanitizers will not have to follow the 80-year-old hour of services rule.
This is the first time that it’s been suspended on a national level, since 1938 when the hours-of-service (HOS) rules for truck drivers were introduced, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The exemption is designed to provide what it calls urgent needs for the following:
1. Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19.
2. Supplies and equipment, including masks, sanitizer, hand, gloves, soap, and disinfectants, necessary for the healthcare worker, patient and community safety, sanitation, and prevention of COVID-19 spread in communities.
3. Food supplies for emergency restocking of stores.
4. Equipment, supplies, and persons, required for establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19.
5. Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for transport for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.
6. Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services.