FMCSA suspends some hours of service regs because of winter storms

Updated Feb 6, 2022
Tractor-trailer accident on Interstate 72 in Illinois.
Tractor-trailer accident on Interstate 72 in Illinois.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a Regional Emergency Declaration and is continuing the exemption from certain hours of service regulations due to winter storms impacting much of the U.S.

FMCSA says the emergency is in response to winter storms and high demand resulting in decreased availability of heating fuel, including propane, natural gas, and heating oil. The declaration covers 41 states and Washington, D.C.

Affected states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Under terms of the declaration, motor carriers and truck drivers providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting heating fuel are temporarily exempt from 49 CFR Part 395.3, which is the maximum driving time regulation in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

Direct assistance ends when a driver or commercial vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the emergency in the affected states.

The waiver is effective immediately and will remain in effect until the end of the emergency or through March 8, whichever is earlier.