On Tuesday, December 18, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) posted a joint petition from the American Bakers Association (ABA) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) to exempt drivers hauling bread and dairy products from Hours of Service requirements in the time immediately preceding foreseeable natural disasters.
“Americans should not face empty shelves when preparing their families for severe weather events,” said ABA President & CEO Robb MacKie. “This exemption would offer bakers increased flexibility to deliver their products by providing the capacity needed to meet increased demand.”
The announced petition would allow drivers hauling essential food staples to be exempt from Hours of Service requirements when an area is under a National Weather Service (NWS) inclement weather ‘watch.’ As a result, this request would allow for greater stock at food retail outlets and flexibility for drivers in varying traffic and weather conditions.
“This change is also crucial for drivers trying to complete their deliveries during an evacuation,” said ABA Government Relations Manager Jack Detiveaux. “Right now, drivers may be forced to pull over and block traffic should their hours expire. This exemption would keep all lanes clear and enable drivers to return home quickly and safely.”
“FMCSA has done a tremendous job in revisiting the Hours of Service in light of the ELD rollout,” said MacKie. “We are excited to see what the public and other stakeholders have to say about this common-sense solution.”