Multiple States Declare State of Emergency In Response to winter Storm
February 15, 2021
An active weather pattern will continue to produce unprecedented winter weather across parts of the southern United States. Winter storm warnings/advisories and ice warnings extend from eastern/southern Texas through the Mississippi/Ohio/Tennessee Valley, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. States have responded by issuing State of Emergency Declarations that suspend certain Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for motor carrier involved in providing emergency relief.
State of Emergency Declarations
Click on the state below to review individual State of Emergency Declarations.
Guidance on Emergency Declarations
To provide vital supplies and transportation services to a disaster area in the United States, emergency declarations may be issued by the President, Governors of States, or FMCSA. These declarations trigger the temporary suspension of certain Federal safety regulations, including Hours of Service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort. See 49 CFR 390.23 for the actual emergency regulation.
Relief from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is limited to a maximum of 30 days, unless extended by FMCSA itself.
The information below reflects currently available relief:
Drivers responding to provide "direct assistance" to an "emergency" meeting the definitions in 49 CFR 390.5 and declared by FMCSA or a governor, are exempt from applicable regulations in all States on their route to the emergency, even though those States may not be involved in the emergency or stated in the declaration of emergency.
These exemptions, when in effect, only apply to 49 CFR Parts 390-399. They do NOT exempt drivers/carriers from the requirements relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size & weight, or State/Federal registration and tax requirements. (However, a Governor's Declaration may add some of those exemptions - read the declaration for details.)
Even if an Emergency Declaration is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going and you must be providing direct emergency assistance in order to be exempt from safety regulations.
There is no requirement to carry a copy of the declaration in the vehicle unless stated so in the declaration itself.
Drivers and carriers should coordinate with State emergency officials before providing assistance. State regulations regarding size and weight, permits, taxes, etc. may not have been waived.
Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways.