As Hurricane Florence nears the U.S., several states have individually released a declaration of emergency while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a regional emergency declaration which warrant specific exemptions including the temporary waiver of oversize/overweight permit fees.
FMCSA Regional Declaration
The FMCSA’s Regional Emergency Declaration includes Delaware, District of Colombia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia and applies to motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in the affected states and jurisdictions in direct support of relief efforts for Hurricane Florence.
North Carolina Governor, Roy Cooper has issued a state of emergency (Executive Order No. 52) and temporary suspension of motor vehicle regulations to ensure restoration of utility services and transporting essentials due to the potential impacts from Hurricane Florence.
Specifically pertaining to oversize load transport, the executive order, says the DPS (Department of Public Safety), in conjunction with the DOT (Department of Transportation), shall waive certain size and weight restrictions and penalties arising under N.C. Gen. State. 20-116, 20-118 and 20-119. And the DPS shall temporarily suspend weighing vehicles used to transport livestock, poultry or crops ready to be harvested and feed to livestock and poultry in the emergency area.
However, size and weight restrictions and penalties, and oversize load restrictions, have not been waived under the following conditions:
- When the vehicle weight exceeds the maximum gross weight criteria established by the manufacturer (GVWR) or 90,000 pounds gross weight, whichever is less.
- When the tandem axle weight exceeds 42,000 pounds and the single axle weight exceeds 22,000 pounds.
- When a vehicle and vehicle combination exceed twelve (12) feet in width and the total, overall vehicle combination’s length exceeds seventy-five (75) feet from bumper to bumper.
- Vehicles and vehicle combinations subject to exemptions or permits by authority of this Executive Order shall not be exempt from the requirement having (1) a yellow banner on the front and rear that is seven (7) feet long and eighteen (18) inches wide and bears the legend “Oversize Load” in ten (10) inch black letters 1.5 inches wide and two (2) red flags measuring eighteen (18) inches square on all sides at the widest point of the load. In addition, when operating between sunset and sunrise, a certified escort shall be required for loads exceeding eight (8) feet, six (6) inches in width.
Read the full executive order here.
Kentucky’s Declaration of Emergency states truck drivers will not be held to hours of service standards if transporting relief supplies such as food, water, medicine or fuel.
The order additionally states that any repair vehicles providing relief during Hurricane Florence will be exempt from permit fees for overweight/over-dimensional vehicles.
The state of Virginia issued a temporary waiver of registration and licensing requirements for carrier, and the Commissioner of Highways authorizes a temporary waiver of normal weight and width restrictions on roads controlled by the Virginia Department of Transportation, for the express purpose of ensuring that emergency essential supplies and services reach impacted areas. The waiver is effective through Oct. 10, 2018 at 5 p.m and only pertains to statewide shippers and carriers associated with emergency relief efforts.
Loads are, however, restricted to a maximum of 12-feet wide as long as they follow the hauling permit regulations and safety guidelines.
View the complete waiver here.
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