As more states issue stay-at-home orders, the exemptions continue for truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued updated exemptions to include new items considered essential to aiding the emergency relief efforts underway. State officials are joining FMCSA as well to ensure truck drivers can continue making their vital deliveries across the nation.
Illinois Exempts Truckers from Stay-at-Home Order
When Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave the order to stay at home, the Illinois Trucking Association (ITA) issued a press briefing letting truck drivers know the order didn’t apply to them. State police confirmed truck drivers are performing an essential service and can continue making deliveries of exempted items. They also noted that while most truckers don’t need any documentation, truck drivers using the emergency overweight authorization will.
Medical Certification Grace Period Extended in Oregon
As many businesses and services come to an abrupt stop due to stay-at-home orders, some states are being proactive in the face of emergency relief needs. Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on March 20 that they would extend the grace period for medical certifications during the state of emergency. Under usual circumstances, Oregon’s DMV cancels CDLs with expired medical certifications within 30 days. Oregon will put this practice on hold to allow commercial drivers to continue providing their essential service.
Challenges While on the Road
With more states shutting down non-essential businesses, many commercial truck drivers are encountering difficulties finding places to eat, shower, and sometimes sleep. Pennsylvania shut down its rest areas briefly before backlash from the trucking community convinced them to reopen their doors. This move gave truckers access to much-needed restrooms and safe places to sleep.
However, other states have closed rest areas as well due to staffing difficulties and some have announced their intention to close at least a portion of their rest stops. Finding food remains a problem as well. As restaurants close and fast food limits its service to drive-through-only, truck drivers are having a harder time finding places to eat as their vehicles aren’t often compatible with drive-through lanes.
As truck drivers continue to transport cargo across the country, they’re adjusting to the new reality of working through a pandemic. Contact the experts at DriverCheck to learn more about improving fleet and driver safety.