An industry trade group known for…..well….we are not quite sure what they are known for, has filed a official request to the President requesting the suspension of the Hours of Service regulations as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic for the remainder of the month.
The Small Business in Trade Coalition, a Florida-based transportation industry trade group, which “promotes and protects the interests of small businesses in the industry,” according to their website, has filed a Request for an Emergency Nationwide Declaration as well as a request for an Executive order suspending “Federal Hours of Service regulations for property-carrying commercial motor vehicles for the remainder of the month due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic.”
The request reads, “America is currently experiencing a pandemic due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We believe this constitutes an “emergency” situation under 49 CFR § 390.5. We hereby request you please make a declaration of national emergency pursuant to your authority under 49 CFR § 390.23 and issue an Executive Order suspending Federal Hours of Service (HOS) Regulations until April 1st, 2020. “
The letter goes on to state that ” Such a Declaration would address these emergency conditions, provide for the continued delivery of supplies, equipment, fuel and effect necessary relief from regulations that would otherwise adversely affect American citizens in this dire time of emergency.”
The folks over at the SBTC have also filed another petition with the White House to collect signatures of people who feel the same way in hopes that they will get the 100,000 signatures required to receive a response from the administration regarding this.
While we are not sure where the request will end up, we are curious to learn what plan is in place if anything to assure that our trucks will be able to handle the inevitable increased workload to restock shelves. HOS Regulations are routinely suspended in times of natural disasters or recently heating oil shortages in the Midwest to assure drivers are able to bring supplies to those in need without delay.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out.