How COVID-19 Is Affecting Trucking Regulations and Inspections

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Trucking Regulations and Inspections

Trucker Safety - COVID-19








The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued several exemptions as part of its emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. Many of those exemptions received several extensions well beyond their original expiration date because of COVID-19’s continuing status as a national emergency. However, not every exemption remained in place. With COVID-19 affecting many safety rules, trucking companies need to be aware of the major changes that will affect their fleets.

A Return of the Grocery Exemption for Disaster Relief

Back in June, FMCSA granted an extension for its COVID-19 emergency declaration and resulting hours of service (HOS) exemptions with several caveats. FMCSA removed the exemption for drivers transporting groceries, raw materials required to manufacture medical and sanitation supplies, fuel, liquid gases needed for refrigeration and cooling systems, and the materials needed for temporary quarantine facilities. After analyzing current relief needs. FMCSA determined the removed categories no longer had the same level of demand. However, as of August 11, FMCSA modified the exemption list to reintroduce food, paper products, and other groceries for emergency restocking. FMCSA extended the exemptions through September 14, 2020.

Expired Documents Waiver Extended

In addition to the HOS exemptions, FMCSA granted waivers to drivers if their CDLs, CLPs, or medical cards expired after March 1, 2020. While the original waiver was set to expire June 30, 2020, FMCSA announced an extension for the waiver through September 30, 2020. FMCSA did so in acknowledgment that many state motor vehicle offices as well as certified medical examiner clinics aren’t open to allow drivers to update their documents. In addition, individuals with CLPs won’t have to retake their general and endorsement knowledge tests.

CVSA International Roadcheck Back on the Calendar

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) postponed its annual International Roadcheck back in March due to COVID-19. After several months of navigating the challenges of COVID-19, CVSA announced the new dates for this year’s roadcheck. The 72-hour enforcement and inspection event will run from September 9-11 with a focus on driver requirements.

FMCSA, CVSA, and other trucking authorities have made several changes to regulations, exemptions, and waivers in recognition of the health and safety challenges presented by COVID-19. The experts at Interstate Motor Carriers understand the difficulties fleets are facing to keep pace with changing safety rules and requirements while keeping their drivers healthy. Contact us today to learn how we can help reduce risk within your fleet.