This February was a tumultuous time for the state of Alabama. The state had been overrun with rampant flooding. Governor Kay Ivey declared a State of Emergency. This temporarily suspended regulations that can get in the way of providing victims with proper disaster relief.
“The significant amount of rain that has fallen across Alabama over the last few weeks has caused flooding in several portions of the state. We assured our citizens that we would be prepared to help however needed, which is why I have decided to issue a State of Emergency,” Governor Ivey said. “This will allow a continued smooth recovery for our state, and I am confident it will aid the efforts already happening on the local level.”
The State of Emergency and How it Impacts Truckers
The declaration of the State of Emergency can be read in its entirety on the Alabama Emergency Management Agency website.
Truckers can drive without Hours of Service regulations limiting how much driving can be done in a day. This indirectly increases how much a truck driver can make in a day. This exemption does not apply to all truckers traveling within Alabama, but instead to groups that haul:
- Emergency equipment for the affected.
- Services and supplies for the affected.
- Debris and damage caused by the flooding.
- Building and construction materials.
- Temporary buildings and their components.
Additionally, this exemption for Hours of Service does not cause exemptions for other rules of the road:
- Transporters that require oversize signs, flags, escorts, etc. still require them.
- Insurance requirements are still in effect.
- Motor carriers ordered not to be in service do not reobtain service privileges due to the State of Emergency.
- Common-sense traffic laws are still applicable. The State of Emergency does not justify running traffic lights nor deliberately hauling across bridges while above their posted load limit.
The suspension of Hours of Service regulations ends when any one of these terms is fulfilled:
- The driver or motor carrier no longer assists with disaster relief.
- 30 days from the declaration of the State of Emergency (March 13th, as 2020 is a leap year).
- An official declaration of the end of the State of Emergency, in the same manner of which it was first declared.
- Any other time dictated by FMCSA regulations.
Truckers and fleets hoping to obtain extra income are encouraged to help with the disaster relief in Alabama.