Texas Emergency Declaration Extended
WASHINGTON, DC (TruckingNewsNow.com) (Source: FMCSA) — The Regional Field Administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Western Service Center, hereby declares that an emergency exists that warrants extension of Regional Emergency Declaration No. 2019-006 issued on October 28, 2019 and continuing the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the State of Texas, except as otherwise restricted herein.
On October 21, 2019, the Governor of the State of Texas issued a disaster declaration for 16 Texas counties as a result of severe weather sustained across Texas causing widespread and severe damage. On October 22, 2019, in response to the severe weather and widespread damage, FMC SA issued Regional Declaration of Emergency No. 2019-006 for the State of Texas.
Because emergency conditions in the State of Texas have not abated, FM CSA is extending Regional Emergency Declaration No. 2019-006 and associated regulatory relief in the State of Texas in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25. This extension of the Emergency Declaration addresses ongoing emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transporting of supplies, equipment and fuel into the State of Texas, transporting persons into or from the State of Texas, or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the emergency in the State of Texas resulting from the severe weather.
By execution of this extension of Regional Emergency Declaration No. 2019-006, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in the State of Texas in direct support of relief efforts related to the severe weather are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein.
Nothing contained in this extension of the Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements ( 49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver’s license requirements ( 49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements ( 49 CFR Part 3 87), hazardous materials regulations ( 49 CFR Parts 100 through 180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically authorized pursuant to 49 CFR § 390.23.Nothing contained in this Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substances and alcohol use and testing requirements ( 49 CFR Part 3 82), the commercial driver’s license requirements ( 49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements ( 49 CFR Part 3 87), the hazardous material regulations ( 49 CFR Parts 100-180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically authorized pursuant to 49 CFR § 390.23.
Emergency Declaration Restrictions & Limitations
By execution of this extension to the Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in the State of Texas are not granted emergency relief from, and must continue to comply with, the following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) and conditions:
- 49 CFR § 392.2 related to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with State laws and regulations, including compliance with applicable speed limits and other traffic restrictions.
- 49 CFR § 392.3 related to operation of a commercial motor vehicle while a driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.
- Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he/she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.
- Drivers and motor carriers are required to comply with the portions of 49 CFR Part 395 related to the preparation, retention and accuracy of a drivers’ records of duty status (RODS). Drivers are directed to note “Emergency Declaration” in the remarks section of the RODS to identify that their operation is in direct assistance to the emergency relief.
- A motor carrier whose driver is involved in a crash while operating under this emergency declaration must report any recordable crash within 24 hours, by phone or in writing, to the FMCSA Division Office where the motor carrier is domiciled. The carrier must report the date, time, location, driver, vehicle identification, and brief description of the crash.
- Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA.
- Drivers for motor carriers operating under this declaration must have a copy in their possession.
- Upon termination of direct assistance to the emergency relief effort, 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 under the terms of the declaration. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce. Upon return to the terminal or other location, such driver must be relieved of all duty and responsibilities.
- Upon termination of direct assistance to the emergency relief effort, no motor carrier shall require or permit any driver used by it to drive, nor shall any such driver drive in interstate commerce until the driver has met the minimum hours off duty requirements of 49 CPR §395.3 (property carriers), and§ 395.5 (passenger carriers).
In accordance with 49 CPR§ 390.25, this extension to Regional Emergency Declaration No. 2019-006 is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency (as defined in 49 CFR § 390. 5) or until 11 :59 P .M. (ET), December 21, 2019, whichever is less.