It is almost hard to believe that it has been nearly a year since the coronavirus pandemic started, but with having to wear masks everywhere it also feels as though it has gone on forever. In any case, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has once again extended the hours-of-service exemption, this time until May 31st.
Now that the exemption is extended quarterly instead of monthly, you may have forgotten how it works. Truckers delivering the following goods (and only the following goods, no flatscreen TVs mixed in) can drive until the job is done, provided they do not feel tired:
- Livestock and feed.
- Medical supplies and equipment directly related to COVID-19.
- Coronavirus vaccines and supplies used to help distribute/administer them.
- Safety and sanitation supplies such as gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer.
- Food and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores.
As always, the FMCSA emphasizes that this exemption is only for the hours-of-service regulations, and that delivering coronavirus-related goods does not give drivers the privilege to text while driving, use a vehicle unfit for operation, or run traffic lights.
Now that the vaccine is out for distribution, it is only a matter of time before the pandemic is over, even if the economy has mostly adapted to the current situation.
Experts debate on what percentage of Americans would need to be vaccinated to obtain herd immunity, but you can see total vaccination numbers on the CDC webpage. Now more than ever before, the chances the exemption will not need another extension are high.