As part of the Trump Administration’s response to the Coronavirus, The U.S. Department of Transportation will exempt commercial truck drivers transporting emergency medical supplies from regulations limiting how many hours they can drive.

In a statement released Friday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

This deregulatory action will allow greater flexibility for truck drivers transporting goods such as necessary medical supplies, testing equipment, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and food required for emergency restocking of stores. This action from DOT and FMCSA is part of a larger effort from the Trump administration to reduce regulatory burdens obstructing relief for the Coronavirus outbreak.

Jim Mullen, FMCSA Acting Administrator, thanked President Trump and DOT Secretary Elaine Chao for their leadership in reducing hours-of-service- regulations.

“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.”  – FMCSA Acting Administrator Jim Mullen.  

Americans for Tax Reform previously led a coalition of free-market organizations calling for FMCSA to ease hours-of-service regulations imposed upon commercial truck drivers. Such rules impose a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to regulation where bureaucrats in Washington mandate when drivers must take a break from driving, rather than relying on professional drivers to make that decision for themselves. 

ATR applauds this decision from the Trump administration to provide regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the Coronavirus. This action will make crucial supplies and goods more available to the public in a critical time of need.

You can find the full FMCSA emergency declaration on trucking hours-of-service here.