Trump Gives Truckers Green Light To Move Emergency Supplies Amid Coronavirus
First time the rule had ever been waived throughout the country
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced President Donald Trump would be suspending the 1938 law, which regulates driving hours for truck drivers was being suspended in a move to tackle the coronavirus.
This is the first time the rule had ever been waived throughout the country, according to the agency.
“I will never hesitate to take any necessary steps to protect the lives, health, and safety of the American people. I will always put the well-being of America first."
The law currently prevents drivers from driving more than 11 hours during a 14-hour work period.
After that period, after that in mandatory for drivers to have 10 hours of downtime.
The waiver, issued by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Trump, now exempts truckers hauling medicine and other supplies necessary to battle the outbreak of the virus.
Mullen said in a statement:
“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."
The waiver also covers drivers carrying food to restock depleted store shelves, equipment needed to construct temporary housing, and cleaning supplies.
Drivers are required to have a minimum of 10 hours of downtime after they reach their destination if they've been carrying goods, and at least eight hours if they have been transporting people.
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“Waivers of this type are a common response by FMCSA to natural disasters and crises because trucks delivering food, fuel, and medicine are a critical part of the response,” America Trucking Associations spokesman Sean McNally said.
“This waiver will help keep loads of medicine, supplies, and food moving as the country manages this current pandemic.”
The waiver is expected to be in effect until the national emergency that has been declared ends on April 12.
According to a White House media pool report, Trump said the response to the virus had brought the nation together.
“[T]here’s been a tremendous amount of coordination with states, with cities, and they’re a little smaller form of government, and they have things going well. They’re coordinating with us. And certain, in particular, I think California has been terrific — the relationship. New York has been really good. We’ve had some really good relationships in terms of — especially the hotspots. And we’re focused on those hotspots,” he said.
“We’re all in this together. It’s something that nobody expected. It came out of China, and it’s one of those things that happened. It’s nobody’s fault. We all — we all will solve this problem. We’ll solve it well,” Trump said.
“I think the American people have been incredible in the way they’ve acted,” Trump said.
“There’s been — and if you look at companies and sports leagues and all of the things, what they’ve done is — is just something very special, without being told, necessarily. In some cases, perhaps they were told, actually. But for the most part, they want to get it over with.”