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State waives trucking restrictions in hurricane wake

By - Last modified: November 2, 2012 at 11:29 AM

PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch announced today the department is temporarily waiving certain commercial driver restrictions so that trucking companies can meet customer and business needs as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

The state issued the waivers for commercial drivers working in these operations:

• Transporting motor and heating fuels and propane gas.

• Emergency response operations related to the hurricane.

• Transporting food, dairy products and pharmaceuticals to distribution, retail and wholesale food establishments.

• Transporting and distributing agricultural feed.

The action waives normal federal hours-of-service requirements for drivers in those operations, meaning drivers could extend their continuous driving to 14 hours before a mandatory rest period, according to PennDOT. The regular limit is 11 hours.

The exemptions also apply to rules requiring drivers to take 34 hours of off-duty time if they’ve accumulated 60 hours of on-duty time, including nondriving duty, in a seven-day period, or 70 hours in an eight-day period.

The waiver for food, dairy, agricultural and pharmaceutical deliveries expires Nov. 4. The waiver for fuels expires Nov. 14 and Nov. 12 for hurricane response and recovery.