DOT Regulatory Updates
Federal Regulations
 
Federal Regulatory Relief --HOS
Mar 18 th -- Expanded Expanded Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23 No. 2020-002 (Relating to COVID-19) provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks.

“…Motor carriers and drivers providing DIRECT ASSISTANCE in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSR, including Hours-of-Service (HOS). 
Photo Courtesy FMCSA

Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies (such as food and fuel) related to COVID-19 outbreaks during the emergency, including :
  1. medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
  2. supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants;
  3. food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
  4. immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3);
  5. fuel;
  6. equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19;
  7. persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and
  8. persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.

Direct assistance:
  • does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,
  • terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.

Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier's terminal or the driver's normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399.

HOWEVER , if the driver informs the motor carrier that he or she needs immediate rest , the driver must be permitted at least 10 consecutive hours off duty before the driver is required to return to the motor carrier's terminal or the driver's normal reporting location.

Once the driver has returned to the terminal or the driver's normal reporting location, the driver must be relieved of all duty and responsibilities and must receive a minimum of 10 hours off duty if transporting property, and 8 hours if transporting passengers.”

IMPORTANT TO NOTE : This DOES NOT waive
  • controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements ( 49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver's license requirements (49 CFR Part 383),
  • financial responsibility (insurance) requirements ( 49 CFR Part 3 87),
  • hazardous material regulations ( 49 CFR Parts 100-180),
  • applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically exempted under to 49 CFR § 390.23.

DOT Random Drug Screening
Mar 23 rd -- DOT Guidance on Compliance with Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation : “Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations provide reasonable flexibility to motor carrier employers and their drivers subject to testing under 49 CFR part 382 to address the COVID-19 national emergency. FMCSA is aware that, as described in ODAPC’s guidance, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency are interfering with, and in some cases, may be preventing, employer and driver compliance with current drug and alcohol testing requirements. In addition to the guidance provided by ODAPC, see below for further information specifically related to FMCSA’s testing requirements.”

• Random Testing      If, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, you are unable to perform random selections and tests sufficient to meet the random testing rate for a given testing period in order to achieve the required 50% rate for drug testing, and 10% for alcohol testing, you should make up the tests by the end of the year. You should document in writing the specific reasons why you were unable to conduct tests on drivers randomly selected, and any actions taken to locate an alternative collection site or other testing resources.

• Pre-Employment Testing     If you are unable to conduct a pre-employment controlled substances test, in accordance with 49 CFR 382.301(a), you cannot allow a prospective employee to perform DOT safety sensitive functions until you receive a negative pre-employment test result , unless the exception in 49 CFR 382.301(b) applies.
(b) An employer is not required to administer a controlled substances test required by paragraph (a) of this section if:
(1) The driver has participated in a controlled substances testing program that meets the requirements of this part within the previous 30 days; and
(2) While participating in that program, either:
(i) Was tested for controlled substances within the past 6 months (from the date of application with the employer), or
(ii) Participated in the random controlled substances testing program for the previous 12 months (from the date of application with the employer); and
(3) The employer ensures that no prior employer of the driver of whom the employer has knowledge has records of a violation of this part or the controlled substances use rule of another DOT agency within the previous six months.

• Post-Accident Testing    I f you are unable to administer an alcohol test within 8 hours following the accident, or a controlled substance test within 32 hours following the accident, due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 national emergency, you must document in writing the specific reasons why the test could not be conducted, as currently required.

• Reasonable suspicion testing –  You should document in writing the specific reasons why the test could not be conducted as required; include any efforts you made to mitigate the effect of the disruption, such as trying to locate an alternative collection site . This documentation should be provided in addition to the documentation of the observations leading to a test, as required by 49 CFR 382.307(f). Follow current regulations addressing situations in which reasonable suspicion testing is not conducted, set forth in 49 CFR 382.307(e)(1), (2).

• Return-to-duty (RTD) testing –  In accordance with 49 CFR 40.305(a), you must not allow the driver to perform any safety-sensitive functions, as defined in 49 CFR 382.107, until the RTD test is conducted and there is a negative result .

• Follow-up testing  If testing cannot be completed, you should   document in writing the specific reasons why the testing could not be conducted as in accordance with the follow-up testing plan; you should include any efforts you made to mitigate the effect of the disruption, such as trying to locate an alternative collection site. You should conduct the test as soon as practicable.

FMCSA Gives Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Extension on Expiring CDLs,Medical Cards
Mar 24 th -- Waiver in Response to the COVID-19 Emergency –For States, CDL Holders, CLP Holders, and Interstate Drivers Operating Commercial Motor Vehicles is a LIMITED waiver for commercial motor vehicle drivers whose CDL/permits and/or medical cards expire between Mar 1 st and June 30 th . Among other requirements, it
  • extends until June 30, 2020 the maximum period of CDL validity by waiving 49 CFR 383.73(b)(9) and 383.73(d)(6) for CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, and
  • waives the requirement under 49 CFR 391.45 that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020

This waiver DOES NOT apply to :
  • Licenses that expired before Mar 1st ,
  • Drivers whose license has been suspended or revoked,
  • Drivers who did not obtain medical certification in the first place,
  • Drivers who, since their last medical exam, have developed a medical condition that would disqualify them from operating a commercial motor vehicle, or
  • Drivers whose expiring medical card was valid >90 days.
Photo courtesy IDOT
Illinois Regulations
Overweight/overdimention
Mar 16 th --From Illinois Waiver COVID19 March 16 2020 In response to COVID-19 pandemic a Presidential Declaration of Emergency has been declared for the nation. To assist with emergency response/relief as defined in the Presidential Declaration, overweight and over dimension loads not exceeding 14 feet in width and 100 feet in length are hereby authorized to be transported on roads under jurisdiction of the State of Illinois. 
HOWEVER, a copy of Illinois Waiver COVID19, the Presidential Declaration, and bill of lading must be in the possession of the operator during the progress of the movement and shall be available for inspection upon request to any police officer or any authorized employee of the Department of Transportation. Click on the Illinois Waiver COVID19 and the Presidential Declaration pdfs to print and read additional restrictions.

Essential business operations
Mar 20 th --Per Executive Order 20-10, “manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries” is an “essential business/operation.” 

Expiring driver’s licenses
Mar 20 th –From “ Jesse White Extends Office Closures, Including Driver Services Facilities, Through April 7” news release: “Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and other transactions and document filings will be extended for the duration of the disaster proclaimed by Governor Pritzker and 30 days after the disaster ends.”

From A MESSAGE FROM IDOT CONCERNING COVID-19:  “…our rest areas remain open 24/7. Now, more than ever, this is a vital resource for motorists, truckers and other travelers in Illinois. The janitorial crews are diligently and frequently cleaning and disinfecting each facility.”

 International Roadcheck Set for May 5-7 with Emphasis on Driver Requirements
Photo courtesy of CVSA

 Per the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA): "International Roadcheck will take place May 5-7 . International Roadcheck is a high-volume, high-visibility three-day enforcement initiative that highlights the importance of commercial motor vehicle safety through roadside inspections. Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections on commercial motor vehicles and drivers.

Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. This year’s focus is on the driver requirements category of a roadside inspection. According to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) fiscal 2019 data (as of Dec. 27, 2019), of the 3.36 million inspections conducted, 944,794 driver violations were discovered, of which 195,545 were out-of-service conditions."

For more information on fleet safety best practices or to schedule driver training, contact:
Christina Anderson | 224-239-6762 | email: CAnderson@corkillinsurance.com
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Corkill Insurance Agency, Inc. | www.corkillinsurance.com