US trucker safety measures suspended over coronavirus

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America’s highway safety regulators have suspended daily driving limits for truck drivers hauling medical supplies, but also to deliver food to stores.

In a press release, The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This declaration is the first time FMCSA has issued nation-wide relief and follows President Trump issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to the virus.

The rules from the FMCSA are in place to stop overtired truckers from crashing. But now they have been waived to deliver food for emergency restocking of stores.

“Because of the decisive leadership of President Trump and Secretary Chao, this declaration will help America’s commercial drivers get these critical goods to impacted areas faster and more efficiently. FMCSA is continuing to closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak and stands ready to use its authority to protect the health and safety of the American people,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.

FMCSA’s declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations also mainly providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts to support diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.