The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the government agency responsible for managing commercial transportation across the United States. The agency develops and executes regulations aimed at maintaining and improving safety, among others. For commercial truck drivers, one set of regulations developed by the FMCSA directly target trucker fatigue, a known danger to all people including the truck drivers themselves.
The FMCSA caps the number of hours a trucker can drive each week and each day. It also mandates that drivers maintain logs tracking their on-duty status and driving hours as a way of monitoring compliance with the Hours of Service rule. The HOS rule also outlines provisions for when breaks must be taken.
Trucking Info recently reported that in light of the viral pandemic, some truck drivers will not be subject to these safety regulations for the moment. The widespread nature of the coronavirus necessitates the transportation of a great deal of goods all across the country, making truck drivers essential front-line personnel in the effort to get ahead of the outbreak.
Drivers making deliveries of regularly scheduled quantities or items will still be expected to adhere to the HOS rule and the rule mandating log tracking. However, any trucker transporting materials or personnel beyond what is normal due to the need to combat the coronavirus will be exempt until further notice. Examples of transported items range from food and water to cleaning supplies to medical testing and treatment products and more. Products may be in transport to setup quarantine areas or help restock quickly emptying store shelves or distribution sites.