FMCSA temporarily suspends regulations for drivers as Hurricane Dorian looms
One major regulation that was suspended was hours of service for drivers who are “engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort” in Florida.
According to the FMCSA, drivers are not required to log their on-duty hours while providing relief, but once the driver is finished assisting, they must total the number of hours they worked while providing direct assistance to the emergency relief effort.
The states included in the HOS suspension currently include Florida, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota, according to Transportation Nation.
The FMCSA has stressed that the exemptions do not exempt drivers/carriers from requirements relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size/weight, or state/federal registration and tax requirements.
Additionally, the FMCSA also suggests that drivers should continue to be mindful of driving fatigue or other conditions that could be dangerous to others on the road while providing relief to affected areas.
“Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways,” says the FMCSA.
Florida officially announced a state of emergency on Aug. 28, as Hurricane Dorian is now forecast to be a Category 4 and poses a significant threat to the southeastern U.S. According to The Weather Channel, the Hurricane’s center is about 220 miles northwest of San Juan Puerto Rico, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.
Hurricane Dorian’s forecast timing is as follows, according to The Weather Channel:
- Through Friday: Dorian's center is expected to track to the east and north of the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas.
- Saturday: Dorian will bend toward the west-northwest and potentially begin to impact the northwest Bahamas, particularly by late in the day.
- Sunday-Monday: Dorian will slow down as it approaches and begins to impact the Southeast U.S., most likely somewhere between Florida and southeast Georgia. That said, areas as far north as the Carolinas should also monitor for potential impacts from Dorian early next week.