WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has not renewed its emergency declaration and hours-of-service waiver related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The declaration, which had been in effect for almost three years, gave regulatory relief to truck drivers who provided direct assistance with delivery of essential goods during the pandemic.
The declaration was extended several times since its inception in March 2020.
And although the number of cases of COVID-19 have shrunk over the past year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has said that a public health emergency still exists.
FMCSA officials did not directly announce that the waiver was cancelled; however, it no longer appears on the agency’s emergency declarations page online.
The website states that “there are no active Emergency Declarations at this time.”
Many in the trucking industry opposed continuing the emergency declaration, including the American Trucking Associations.
“While ATA appreciated the emergency declaration relief throughout the early stages of the pandemic, most ATA members no longer feel continued relief is necessary,” ATA wrote in response to FMCSA’s request earlier this year for comments on the issue. “ATA members continue to voice concerns that continuing regulatory relief may be used to circumvent the hours-of-service regulations or foster abuse of the regulations.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.