PennDOT Temporarily Waives Restrictions on Commercial Drivers for Sandy recovery and IDOT allows larger loads to aid storm recovery

Pennsylvania’s Department of Transportation Secretary Barry J. Schoch has temporarily waived certain commercial driver restrictions to quickly meet customer and business needs in the wake of damage from Hurricane Sandy.

Waivers were issued for the following commercial driver operations:

* Transporting motor fuels, heating fuels and propane gas;

* Operations necessary to respond to the disaster emergency;

* Transporting food, dairy products and pharmaceuticals to food
distribution, retail and whole sale food establishments; and

* Transporting and distributing agricultural feed.

The waivers were issued after Governor Tom Corbett on Oct. 26 issued a related disaster emergency proclamation, which is required for driver restrictions to be waived.

Schoch’s action temporarily waives the normal federal hours of service requirements for drivers of trucks carrying these goods. Drivers usually must take a mandatory rest period after 11 hours behind the wheel. Under the declaration, the limit for driving hours is extended to 14 hours.

Exemption is also granted from the requirements of the 60/70-hour limits rule.

The 60/70-hour limits rule requires drivers to stop driving upon accumulating 60 or 70 on-duty hours (including all on-duty and driving time) over a period of seven or eight consecutive days, respectively.
Any period of seven or eight consecutive days may end with the beginning of any off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours.

The waiver for food, dairy products, agricultural feed and pharmaceutical deliveries is effective through Nov. 4. The heating and motor fuels and propane gas waiver is effective through Nov. 14. The waiver for operations in support of hurricane response and recovery expires Nov. 12.

ILLINOIS

Illinois transportation officials are allowing larger loads on state roads to help with emergency relief after Hurricane Sandy.

Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says her authorization is effective immediately. It applies to loads up to 14-feet wide and 100-feet long. The loads can travel on state routes and interstates. State officials say it will let emergency responders and relief aides transport materials to the hard-hit East Coast more efficiently.

The temporary authorization in Illinois lasts until Nov. 30.

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