Stay current with COVID-19 and the industry.

Our latest news, updates, information and resources.

To help you stay up to speed on quickly changing regulations due to coronavirus (COVID-19), our dedicated team of safety and compliance experts are on the frontlines to help you stay informed.

Things are changing rapidly, often hourly. We are committed to giving you our educated interpretation of the facts as we know them. However, please know you are ultimately responsible for referring to the original source whenever possible to ensure compliance with federal rules and regulations.

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Regular Q&A webinar with our safety and compliance team

Every other week, our safety and compliance experts will host a webinar to discuss the latest developments and answer your questions. Each webinar will be recorded, so you can watch it later if you register but can’t attend. No cost.

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FMCSA will conduct compliance reviews remotely

May 20, 2020

The FMCSA is required to determine if a commercial driver or operator is safe. Due to current conditions, the agency has published a guidance document that amends some on-site requirements for conducting required compliance reviews under 49 CFR part 385, subpart A (not subpart B). This guidance is effective immediately, and will remain active until further notice.

According to this document, the FMCSA will use “all available technology to access information and records and thus limit exposure risk for the regulated community and safety investigators. Using the same standards otherwise applicable, FMCSA will assign safety ratings following a compliance review even if no on-site review activities have taken place. FMCSA will continue to apply the procedures in 49 CFR part 385, including the Safety Fitness Rating Methodology (SFRM) in Appendix B, prior to assigning a safety rating.”

Although “compliance review” is defined as “on-site” in 49 CFR 385.3, modern technology now enables the FMCSA to conduct reviews remotely, just as it would in person. Today, many motor carriers maintain electronic records in any case and typically submit them to the FMCSA from the carrier’s chosen application.

The FMCSA will also communicate via email, video conferencing and traditional phone calls to carry out the review to further limit exposure.

Read the FMCSA Guidance on Leveraging Technology to Conduct Compliance Reviews During COVID-19 Health Emergency.

Guidelines announced for Opening America Up Again

May 20, 2020

As all 50 states begin to ease their respective restrictions (to some degree), the White House has issued an executive order for states to begin lifting their lockdowns and reopening their economies while continuing to fight the virus and protect those who are most vulnerable. Included in the executive order is the directive for agencies to not over-enforce when a business is working in reasonably good faith to abide by the law.

It’s important to note that although the White House is providing guidance, the governors of each state are in charge of handling the process to reopen as conditions allow.

Read the executive order in full.

In support of the White House’s initiative, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also released its detailed guidance for reopening schools, transit and nonessential businesses. In the agency’s 60-page document, details activities and directives to monitor the pandemic, enable contact tracing and identify clusters. Additionally, the document includes information to monitor healthcare capacity and supplies.

Download full the CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response.

Download the 20-page set of CDC guidelines for Opening Up America Again.

Travel along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders restricted for another 30 days

May 20, 2020

The White House has announced that the temporary travel restrictions along the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders will be extended another 30 days. Enacted in agreement with Mexico and Canada, these restrictions allow only essential travel such as (but not limited to):

  • individuals traveling for medical purposes
  • individuals traveling to attend educational institutions
  • individuals traveling to work in the United States
  • individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes
  • individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade
  • individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel
  • members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States

These restrictions were first enacted in mid-March and extended in April. Officials have stated that these measures will continue to be reviewed 30 days out. To view the Notifications of Temporary Travel Restrictions for each border, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Small business owners can now apply for PPP loan forgiveness

May 19, 2020

Small business owners who borrowed from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which as established by the CARES Act, can now apply for loan forgiveness. On May 15, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury (USDT) have released an 11-page PPP loan forgiveness application and instructions. According to the Small Business Administration, if at least 75% of proceeds were used to cover payroll, the borrowed amount is supposed to be forgivable. Any amount not forgiven must be repaid in two years at a 1% rate.

The instructions offer clarity around some uncertainty surrounding the payroll cost calculation during the 8-week (56-day) forgiveness period (Covered Period). The application and instructions also clarify that real and personal property (i.e. vehicles or trailers) are subject to interest on mortgages and lease or rent payments. The SBA and Treasury have also jointly stated that they will put out information on regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers.

Visit the Small Business Administration website for more about the PPP.

Download the Paycheck Protection Program Forgiveness Loan Application.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

May 19, 2020

A heartfelt thank you from us, to the nation’s truckers

Updated May 18, 2020

Life has changed over the past many weeks. From the beginning, our nation’s truckers have risked their health and safety to keep the supply chain moving. If you’re one of them, thank you. You’ve dealt with changing regulations, restrictions that often vary from one state or city to another, and unforeseen challenges such as just finding a place to pull over and rest. Closed rest areas, drive-thru only restaurants, lack of PPE, time away from your family—the obstacles have seemed endless and sometimes insurmountable

And yet, through it all, you’ve kept our stores stocked, delivered essential goods such as food and medical supplies, and made it possible for the rest of us to stay home and stay safe. For all of that and more, we at Zonar thank you. We stand by you.

Take a moment to watch a heartfelt message from Zonar employees, and read a message from our COO, Mike Gould. Because like so many, we mean it—thank you.

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FMCSA extends Emergency Declaration through June 14, 2020

May 13, 2020

The FMCSA’s emergency declaration was set to expire May 15. However, after careful consideration of the current COVID19 crisis, the FMCSA has extended its expanded Emergency Declaration through June 14, 2020. According to the official release, “This extension continues the exemption granted from Parts 390 through 399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the fifty States and the District of Columbia. This Declaration extends the exemption through June 14, 2020.”

Read the FMCSA’s announcement for more information.

See what items and supplies are covered, as well as other requirements.

If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

CDC guidance for long-haul truckers to stay healthy

May 13, 2020

To help drivers stay safe and healthy during this pandemic, the CDC offers guidance specifically for long-haul truckers. This recently updated guidance offers recommended actions truckers can take to reduce their risk of catching the virus, maintaining a clean truck and limiting contact with others.

  • Notify your supervisor and stay home if you have symptoms.
  • Make a plan with your employer and your family about what to do if you become sick while on the road.
  • Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met.
  • Follow CDC recommended precautions and notify your supervisor if you are well but a member of your family at home with COVID-19.
  • Practice social distancing whenever possible.
    • Limit time spent outside of the truck cab during fueling, loading and unloading, and at rest and truck stops.
    • Use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other tasks, when available.
    • Contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading of cargo. Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to restrooms, and plan as best you can.
    • Use radio/phone to talk with dock managers or other drivers, if possible.
    • Pack food, water, and supplies to limit the number of stops.
    • Keep your truck well-ventilated.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public settings where other social distancing is difficult.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a routine basis.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching surfaces often touched by others when outside of the cab.
  • Do not share PPE, tools, phones, radios or other personal items.
  • Use pre-qualified truck stops or hotels identified by your employer as having appropriate COVID-19 protections.
  • When team driving or ride-alongs are required, wear cloth face coverings inside the truck and avoid sharing bedding in the sleeper berth.
  • If any directive from your employer or a shipper is unclear, ask questions.

Visit the CDC's website for more information on staying healthy while hauling, and to learn what employers can do to maintain a safe, healthy work environment.

From the DOL: Families First Paid Sick Leave eligibility requirements summed up

May 13, 2020

In a recent blog post, the Department of Labor (DOL) offers a succinct summary of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s paid sick and family leave eligibility requirements. If your company is a private employer with more than 50 but fewer than 500 employees, an employee may be eligible for:

Paid sick leave up to two weeks or 80 hours at the employee’s regular rate or the minimum wage (whichever is higher), if one of the following applies.

  • They’re under a government quarantine or stay-at-home order.
  • They’ve been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine.
  • They’re seeking a diagnosis for COVID-19 symptoms.

Paid sick leave up to two weeks or 80 hours at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate or the minimum wage (whichever is higher), if one of the following applies.

  • They’re caring for somebody under quarantine or a stay-at-home order.
  • They’re caring for their child whose school, child care provider, or place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19.

Paid family leave up to 10 additional weeks at 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate, if both criteria apply:

  • They’re caring for their child whose school, child care provider, or place of care is unavailable due to COVID-19
  • And they’ve been employed at least 30 calendar days

Paid leave is capped at specific maximum amounts per worker. Read the DOL’s full blog post, Are You Eligible for COVID-19 Paid Leave?, for more information and resources.

Government of Canada announces additional support for medium and large businesses

Updated May 12, 2020

To help save millions of middle-class jobs, the Government of Canada is taking additional measures to support businesses so that they in turn can keep workers on the payroll. The government is establishing the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) and is expanding the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), which was established as part of Canada’s Economic Response Plan.

Read our online article to learn more about the new LEEFF program and the expansion of the BCAP.

Read Article

From the ATA: Key highlights around the FMCSA’S Emergency Declaration

Updated May 11, 2020

As conditions evolve, the FMCSA is maintaining open discussions on how to respond accordingly while maintaining safety. The FMCSA recently held a Question and Answer conference call to discuss potential next steps around its Emergency Declaration. Read our online article for a few select highlights and access the summary in full.

Note: Motor carriers are responsible for reviewing the FMCSA’s Emergency Declaration and working with Department of Transportation authorities regarding how to comply with federal rules and regulations.

Read Article

Trucking industry seeks FET relief in the next economic recovery legislation

May 6, 2020

More than 100 national, state and local organizations and companies have sent a letter to U.S. House and Senate leaders. In it, these groups ask Congress to suspend the 12% federal excise tax (FET) on new heavy-duty trucks and trailers through 2021 to aid in the industry’s economic relief.

In the letter, this group makes the case that truck sales are expected to decline by half this year because of the pandemic and the government-ordered closures. Manufacturers and dealers have had to scale back or suspend operations. Suspending the FET would increase sales of these newer trucks and trailers, which would in turn “bring back the livelihoods of the 7.8 million Americans employed in jobs related to trucking.”

The letter continues to make the case. “In addition to saving jobs, a suspension of the FET would spur sales of today’s cleaner and safer heavy-duty trucks and trailers by making them more affordable during this difficult economic time.”

For the full text and list of those who signed, download this first letter.

Commercial drivers can manage their trip if there’s a disaster with a free, new app

May 6, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Idaho National Lab (INL) launched a new Commercial Routing Assistance (CRA) app for commercial vehicle drivers in the U.S. Using this app, commercial drivers, operators and truckers can quickly plan and manage their trips across states in the event of a disaster, disruption or restriction, such as a shelter-in-place order.

The CISA funded the app, and the INL partnered with industry and government professionals for development.

Per the INL’s CRA fact sheet:

“Working with the All Hazards Consortium’s (AHC) Sensitive Information Sharing Environment (SISE) to coordinate and validate industry-relevant data streams, INL created CRA in order to aid private and public transportation fleets in navigating across states with varying restrictions. The capability, which includes a routing utility, a custom map to visualize layers of multivariate state-level data relevant to the industry and a dashboard of dynamic and frequently updated data summaries, was successfully demonstrated to CISA less than a week after their initial appeal for help.”

The app is free to download and use.

Visit the CRA app landing page.

Download the INL’s CRA fact sheet.

Use the #CommercialRoutingAssistance to search Twitter for more information.

FMCSA announces Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP)

Updated May 6, 2020

The FMCSA’s new Crash Preventability Determination Program (CPDP) is an expanded—and permanent—program that enables motor carriers to improve their CSA scores. The CPDP stems from demonstration program that ended on July 31, 2019. Under the new CPDP, motor carriers may request a data review for eligible crashes that happened on or after August 1, 2019.

The CPDP is officially published in the Federal Register and accepting submissions. Read our online article to:

  • find out the details
  • see the full list of eligible crash types
  • access the Federal Register Notice

Read Article

Official results: how COVID-19 has impacted the trucking industry

May 5, 2020

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) and the Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association Foundation (OOIDA) have completed research, and released a full report on, the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the trucking industry.

Among the key findings, research found that:

  • Nearly 80% of owner-operators and small fleets have no plan for managing operations during natural disasters—but 70% of large fleets do.
  • Nearly 70% of specialized and tank truck operations have been negatively impacted, with smaller fleets being more effected than larger fleets.
  • Outside of transporting essential goods, nearly 50% of respondents saw decreased truck traffic.

Read our online article for more key findings and to download the full report.

Read Article

Government of Canada creates COVID-19 supply council

May 4, 2020

As part of Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19, the Honorable Anita Anand, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, has announced the creation of the COVID-19 Supply Council. The Council consists of a diverse group of 17 leaders from the private and non-profit sectors, who’ll provide the Government of Canada advice on procuring critical goods and services, as well as building agile supply chains that can adjust in response to changing circumstances during this crisis.

The Government of Canada has also:

  • introduced new measures to help Canadian businesses quickly produce or develop products to combat the pandemic
  • begun taking an aggressive approach to buying, especially PPE for frontline healthcare workers

To learn more, visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

May 4, 2020

10 tips for truckers driving through the pandemic

April 30, 2020

Right now, many commercial truck drivers face unprecedented challenges. Looking for a place to eat, finding grants and necessary financial assistance. These drivers need facts and support they can count on. We’ve compiled practical, comprehensive resources to help. We also offer additional support with our free weekly webinar and Q&A, hosted by our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Recently, our vice president of Safety and Compliance, Fred Fakkema, provided American Trucker 10 tips for truckers driving through the pandemic. These tips are compiled with understanding real-life challenges truckers face, and with help from industry experts and authorities.

Visit the article for the full list of tips.

Transport Canada Essential Freight Transport Exemption about to expire

April 30, 2020

Originally established on March 24, 2020, the Transport Canada Essential Freight Transport Exemption offered hours-of-service flexibility for fleets transporting a specific list of essential supplies and equipment related to COVID-19 relief efforts. Read the signed exemption in full for details.

This exemption expires tonight, April 30, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

FMCSA distributes 1 million masks to trucker drivers

April 30, 2020

The FMCSA just announced that, in partnership with state representatives, industry groups and motor carriers, the agency will distribute 1 million face masks to commercial truck drivers to help them stay safe and healthy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide the masks.

  • 800,000 masks are being distributed across Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, New York and Texas.
  • 200,000 masks are being provided to carriers to distribute to their drivers.

Visit the FMCSA’s website for the full list of distribution locations and dates.

IC Bus announces program to defer payments on new school buses

April 30, 2020

IC Bus has launched its IC Bus Cares program to offer customers who purchase a new vehicle the option of deferring payment for six months. According to the official press release, this program “offers customers the ability to purchase new vehicles without tying up short-term cash.” Customers who take advantage have until May 31, 2020, to finance the purchase through Navistar Capital and not incur payments for up to six months.

This offer includes current dealer inventory or new sold orders of IC Bus CE and RE Series models at IC Bus dealerships that have fully executed dealer agreements with Navistar. Well-qualified borrowers and commercial customers only.

Learn more on the company’s website.

Updated information about the Paycheck Protection Program

April 30, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) issued new documents that contain important information about the Paycheck Protection Program.

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with resources to maintain payroll, rehire employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead. Small businesses, eligible nonprofits, Veterans organizations, Tribal businesses, self-employed individuals and independent contractors are eligible if they meet program size standards. Learn more and access the program’s documentation.

Nebraska State Patrol will hand out 100,000 surgical masks to truck drivers

April 29, 2020

Over the next two days, troopers with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) will hand out 100,000 surgical masks, which are being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Nebraska is one of eight states working with federal agencies to provide masks to truck drivers at key locations to help them stay safe and healthy as they play a major role in maintaining the nation’s critical supply chain.

These surgical masks will be distributed Wednesday, April 29 at the following locations:

  • Melia Hills Rest Area – I-80 MM 431 WB
  • Waverly WB Scale – I-80
  • Waverly EB Scale – I-80
  • North Platte WB Scale – I-80
  • North Platte EB Scale – I-80
  • Nebraska City EB/WB Scale – Highway 2
  • Fremont NB/SB Scale – Highway 77/275
  • Hebron NB/SB Scale – Highway 81

And Thursday, April 30 at these locations.

  • Goehner Truck Parking – I-80 MM 375 WB
  • Melia Hills Rest Area – I-80 MM 431 WB
  • Waverly WB Scale – I-80
  • Waverly EB Scale – I-80
  • North Platte WB Scale – I-80
  • North Platte EB Scale – I-80
  • Nebraska City EB/WB Scale – Highway 2
  • Fremont NB/SB Scale – Highway 77/275
  • Hebron NB/SB Scale – Highway 81

800,000 free face masks being distributed to truckers

April 28, 2020

Every day, truckers across the nation put themselves at risk to make the delivers that keep this nation running—but they’ve been short of face masks. And they’ve been speaking up about the issue. Now, in a joint effort between theDepartment of Homeland Security (DHS), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal government has announced a plan to distribute 800,000 face masks to truckers—free of charge at key locations.

Learn more and see the full list of locations at Transportation Network.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

April 28, 2020

IRS enhances Get My Payment online application

April 28, 2020

Under the CARES Act, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been issuing Economic Impact Payments (stimulus checks) as part of the economic relief effort. People who haven’t received theirs yet are encouraged to use the Get My Payment online application to securely check the status of their anticipated check. Now, the IRS has announced enhancements to make the online tool easier to use. According to the IRS website, “The additional changes will help millions of additional taxpayers with new or expanded information and access to adding direct deposit information.”

The Get My Payment online application is available on IRS.gov only. Taxpayers can track the status of their payment and provide their bank account information if necessary. Visit the IRS.gov website to learn more about using Get My Payment and find out what information you’ll need to speed the process along.

Learn more about Get My Payment enhancements.

Go to the Get My Payment online application on IRS.gov.

Visit the Get My Payment FAQ page on IRS.gov.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) now accepting applications

April 27, 2020

If you’re a Canadian employer and COVID-19 has impacted your business, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy. With this subsidy, you should be able to rehire workers you previously had to lay off because of the pandemic, prevent additional job losses, and be better able to resume normal operations after this crisis.

  • 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks
  • Retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020
  • Maximum benefit is $847 per employee each week

Applications are being processed by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and claims approved through the agency’s automated verification process will be sent for payment on May 5, 2020. Some applications may require secondary verification, which will be done manually and take up to an additional 3 three days.

Visit the Canada Government website to:

  • Learn who’s an eligible employer
  • Determine which employees are eligible
  • Learn how and when to apply
  • Find out what happens after you apply

Visit the Canada Government website.

Hand sanitizer refill stations now in place in IN, OH, PA and NJ

April 27, 2020

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) is partnering with Protective Insurance Company to distribute ten 55-gallon drums of hand sanitizer, produced by Hotel Tango Distillery, to various locations along major freight corridors. Drivers can use these drums, at no charge, to refill their personal supply bottles. The drums are now being hauled by the ATA’s Share the Road and Workforce Heroes tractor-trailers and are now in place at the following locations, with more to follow this week.

Read our online article for the full list of locations now available.

Read Article

CDC expands list of potential COVID-19 symptoms

April 27, 2020

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of mild to severe symptoms. The CDC has recently updated its list of symptoms, which may appear 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

The CDC also has a separate list of emergency warning signs, for which you should seek immediate medical attention. The following list is not all inclusive. The CDC advises you to talk to your medical provider if you have any other symptoms “that are severe or concerning to you.”

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Visit the CDC’s website to learn more, download printable flyers, learn how to care for yourself and others, and access its Self-check tool.

NSC launches SAFER task force to help employers reopen—safely

April 25, 2020

The National Safety Council (NSC) has announced SAFER, its nationwide task force to guide employers through resuming traditional operations and work environments in a way that ensures worker safety. SAFER, which stands for Safe Actions for Employee Returns, is a comprehensive, multi-faceted effort created in partnership with leading safety organizations, public health professionals and experts, and Fortune 500 companies. Read our full online article for more information about what SAFE will do and why.

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FTA extends PTASP compliance deadline

April 23, 2020

The Federal Transit Administration has extended the deadline for PTASP compliance from July 20 to December 31, 2020. In light of current circumstances, transit agencies are operating in the face of extraordinary challenges to provide lifeline services and transport essential workers to critical jobs. However, these challenges are impacting their ability to ensure compliance and certification with the new PTASP regulations. Hence the FTA extending the deadline.

However, the FTA makes clear in its declaration that the “FTA expects affected recipients and sub subrecipients to continue to work toward meeting the July 20, 2020, effective date to the extent practical under the current circumstances caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.”

Read the FTA’s official release for more information. If you have questions about the regulations or deadline extension, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Senate passes Phase 3.5 relief bill

April 23, 2020

This week, the U.S. Senate has passed a nearly $500 relief bill, which, if approved, will amend the CARES Act and put billions of dollars into the depleted Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Named the “Phase 3.5”, this relief bill is expected to be approved and signed in to law.

Key components of the bill

  • $300 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program
  • $60 billion for smaller banks and community lenders
  • $60 billion for small business loans and grants (delivered through an existing small business disaster aid program)
  • $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers through Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • $25 billion for research, development and expanded capacity for COVID-19 testing
  • Funds to implement a nationwide virus testing program

Read the exact text of the Phase 3.5 coronavirus relief bill.

CVSA cancels 2020 NAIC, moves 2020 CVSA Data Management, Quality and FMCSA Systems Training

April 23, 2020

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has canceled this year’s North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC) out of health and safety concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This year's canceled NAIC was scheduled for August 18–22. Next year's NAIC is slated for August 10–14, 2021, in Minneapolis, and is scheduled to be held as planned.

The 2020 CVSA Data Management, Quality and FMCSA Systems Training 3-day event that was scheduled to occur at the same time as this year’s NAIC, but has now been moved to the end of January 2021, in conjunction with the CVSA’s Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development (COHMED) Conference.

Read the full press release for more information.

From the ATRI: New data shows how COVID-19 has impacted trucking

April 22, 2020

The American Transportation Institute (ATRI) has released new data that measures COVID-19’s disruptive impact on the trucking industry. The institution’s analysis looks at truck activity across six states, including California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, from early February through mid-April 18, 2020.

The industry initially saw an uptick, then a decrease based on consumer demands. Read the article to learn more.

Read Article

U.S., Canada and Mexico extend travel restrictions

April 20, 2020

Current travel restrictions along the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders are being extended for another 30 days. These restrictions, which were issued March 22, have been playing a part in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. When these restrictions were first put in place, officials stated that they would be reviewed 30 days out.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

April 20, 2020

President Trump releases his 3-phase plan for reopening the country

April 17, 2020

Reopening the country is going to be a process. President Trump has recently released his three-phase approach to do so, named Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. Based on the advice of public health experts, these steps are meant to help state and local officials reopen their economies in a careful, methodical manner. Although the president has released this plan, each state’s governor has the authority and discretion to actually reopen that state’s economy.

Learn more about the president’s three-phase plan, including state and individual guidelines.

Drivers now required to wear a mask when entering Canada

April 16, 2020

We’ve previously posted that all drivers entering British Columbia need, at least, a self-isolation plan. And that commercial drivers are exempt from implementing their plan unless they develop symptoms. Now an updated Order has been issued requiring any traveler entering Canada by any means to wear a non-medical mask or face covering before continuing. Per the updated order, drivers who do not already have a mask will be provided one.

Read the official press release.

SBA no longer accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program

April 16, 2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that, “based on available appropriations funding,” it is no longer accepting new applications for its Paycheck Protection Program. Whether this is temporary or permanent is unknown. However, the SBA does have other options for assistance, such as Enhanced Debt Relief, other traditional lending options and a nationwide network of resource partners.

Visit the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program page for more information.

Various states updating IRP timelines and extensions for waivers

April 16, 2020

Certain parts of Canada and several U.S. states are updating their timeliness for waivers and extensions of International Registration Plan (IRP) requirements. The new expiration depends on the state; visit the IRP’s COVID-19 Emergency Waivers page for its full list of emergency waivers, which will continue to be updated.

TSA grants temporary exemption to extend TWIC card expiration date

April 15, 2020

The TSA has granted a temporary exemption from Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC®) card, extending the expiration date. For those with an expiration date between March 1 and July 31, 2020, this temporary exemption extends the expiration date by 180 days.

Download the official release and FAQ.
Download the TSA TWIC exemption in full.

FTA provides recommended actions for transit employees and passengers

April 14, 2020

Even at reduced capacity, public transit agencies still continue to transport the public, including essential workers to critical jobs. To reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 among transit employees, contractors and passengers, the FTA has issued a safety advisory that contains recommended actions, which are consistent with all applicable guidance and information provided by the CDC and by OSHA.

These recommended actions are not mandated and not legally enforceable; adherence is voluntary. Read our online article to learn more and download the FTA’s full recommendations.

Read Article

Updated Paycheck Protection Program FAQ now available

April 14, 2020

Yesterday, the Treasury Department updated its FAQ Guide on the paycheck protection program (PPP) established by the CARES Act. Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance the FAQ document provides as the Small Business Administration’s interpretation of the CARES Act and of the PPP Interim Final Rule. Keep in mind, this document will continue to be updated regularly, so make sure you’re always referring to the most current version.

Download the full, up-to-date FAQ.

U.S. DOL issues enforcement guidance for recording cases of COVID-19

April 14, 2020

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the case is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness, is work related, and involves at least one of the general recording criteria such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.

OSHA has issued interim guidance providing flexibility for enforcing those recordkeeping requirements as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19. The flexibility applies to employers to making work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where:

  • there is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work related
  • and the evidence was reasonably available to the employer

Read the full press release.

FMCSA waives CDL testing procedures

April 13, 2020

The FMCSA recently issued a waiver (valid until June 30, 2020) that allows third-party CLD text examiners to administer the CDL knowledge test without completing a CDL knowledge test training course. This waiver is in response to the fact that state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs), which typically conduct the skills exams, have been forced to close or reduce capacity. Now, states and SDLAs can use third-party CDL text examiners to administer the test.

Per the waiver

“This waiver is in the public interest because it would allow States and SDLAs to use third party CDL test examiners to continue administering CDL knowledge tests while SDLAs remain closed, are unable to administer CDL knowledge tests, or are operating at a diminished capacity due to the COVID-19 national emergency. The continued availability of CDL knowledge testing will help maintain an adequate and sustained supply of trained CMV drivers to deliver essential supplies and persons across State lines to address the public health emergency and help prevent a possible shortage of CMV drivers. This waiver will also reduce the administrative burden on States and SDLAs during this public health emergency.”

Also per the FMCSA, the waiver, “will not negatively impact safety because the CDL knowledge tests are easier to administer than the skills tests.”

Read the waiver in full.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

April 13, 2020

All drivers at least need a self-isolation plan before entering British Columbia

April 13, 2020

British Columbia has tightened restrictions on drivers entering the province. Now, all drivers who have been outside Canada in the 14 days before entering British Columbia must complete, file and have an approved self-isolation plan before they can cross the BC border. This includes land crossings at borders and drivers who entered Canada elsewhere in the 14 days before entering British Columbia.

Commercial drivers entering British Columbia in the course of their employment are exempt from implementing their plan unless they are symptomatic. However, commercial drivers must still complete, file and have an approved plan before entering. They are expected to self-monitor and self-isolate according to their approved plan only if they develop symptoms. This is a new legal requirement, supported by the provincial health officer’s travel orders and reinforce the federal emergency order under the Quarantine Act.

This document can be submitted online or completed in person on arrival.

Access the form online.
Download the printable PDF.

If a driver needs to self-isolate, Emergency Management BC will help with necessary food deliveries, prescriptions and other supplies. The Province, through Service BC, will follow up with travelers in self-isolation with phone calls and text messages to make sure they have what they need or modify their plan to complete the self-isolation safely.

Drivers entering Utah now required to complete COVID-19 info form

April 10, 2020

Starting today, all drivers—except commercial drivers—entering Utah are required to complete an electronic form regarding COVID-19. According to the state’s governor, Gary Herbert, this executive order is meant to prevent nonessential travel, especially during Easter Sunday. Drivers using certain entry points will receive an automated text message (triggered by geofencing) through the federal Wireless Emergency Alerts system. This text message will provide a link to complete the required form.

Commercial drivers are exempt. This requirement applies to non-commercial motorists ages 18 and older, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on May 1, 2020. Read the full executive order. For more information, read our online article.

Read Article

Guidance for essential workers who may have been exposed

April 10, 2020

Critical infrastructure employees are essential—and at risk. For essential critical workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) just released an important update.

This update includes:

  • a downloadable, printable guide includes do’s and don’ts for employees, as well as some do’s for employers
  • Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 (read this guidance)

The guidance for that second item specifically calls attention to critical infrastructure workers who serve in specific capacities and functions. However, it may also apply to all essential critical workers, except healthcare providers who are covered under separate guidance.

FMCSA extends the emergency declaration to May 15, 2020

April 8, 2020

Effective immediately, the FMCSA has extended its emergency declaration to May 15, 2020, to drivers and carriers supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.

Other highlights

  • The FMCSA also expanded the declaration to “cover liquified gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems.” All of the requirements and applicability outlined in the original and expanded declaration remain in effect, and have not changed.
  • In addition to other regulations referenced in the Expanded Declaration, drivers operating are not exempt from operating a CMV in accordance to state laws, including speed limits and traffic restrictions.
  • Nor are they exempt from the ruling relating to operating a CMV while their alertness is so impaired (or likely to become impaired) due to fatigue or illness that they’re unsafe behind the wheel.

Read the FMCSA’s announcement for more information. To see what items and supplies are covered under the emergency declaration, visit the FMCSA's page to view the list in full. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Cyber threat update from the CISA

April 8, 2020

Security officials in the U.S. and U.K. have revealed that unfortunately, there exists a growing cyber threat from those seeking to exploit the COVID-19 crisis. Per their findings, “cyber criminals and advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are targeting individuals and organizations with a range of ransomware and malware.”

Examples of scams include:

  • emails that appear to come from the WHO Director-General, but in fact contain malware
  • offers of thermometers and face masks
  • using phishing scams exploiting video conferencing software names

As more people work remotely, more criminals are looking for vulnerabilities in remote working tools. While these agencies aren’t detecting an increase in cyber crime itself, they are seeing more COVID-related themes to take advantage of people’s curiosity and vulnerability during this crisis.

These agencies predict that in the coming weeks and even months, these types of cyber crimes will become more frequent and more severe. Visit the full article by the CISA for more information, as well as helpful links and references.

From the SBA: Paycheck Protection Program FAQ

April 8, 2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) just released an updated list of frequently asked questions and answers regarding the Paycheck Protection Program established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Below are some highlights, but download the complete list for more.

  • Are small business concerns required to have 500 or fewer employees to be eligible?
  • Does my business have to qualify as a small business concern to participate?
  • Are lenders required to make an independent determination regarding applicability of affiliation rules?
  • The CARES Act excludes from the definition of payroll costs any employee compensation in excess of an annual salary of $100,000. Does that exclusion apply to all employee benefits of monetary value?
  • Do PPP loans cover paid sick leave?
  • What time period should borrowers use to determine their number of employees and payroll costs to calculate their maximum loan amounts?
  • How should a borrower account for federal taxes when determining payroll costs for purposes of the maximum loan amount, allowable uses of a PPP loan, and the amount of a loan that may be forgiven?

The full FAQ document also covers whether or not to apply the SBA’s affiliation rules, minority shareholders, seasonal businesses and third-party payroll providers. Download the SBA’s complete FAQ document to learn more. And view the Payment Protection Program Final Rule for program details.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

April 7, 2020

Working Washington Small Business Emergency Grants

April 7, 2020

If you have a small business with a staff of 10 people or fewer, you now have another option for emergency COVID-19 relief funding. Governor Inslee has announced a new Working for Washington Small Business Emergency Grant program. This program, which will be administered by the State Department of Commerce, features $5M in available grants of up to $10,000 each.

Visit StartUp Washington of the Washington State Department of Commerce for more information, including process, eligibility and the application.

From the FTA: Frequently asked questions regarding transit agencies and the CARES Act

April 7, 2020

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has posted a list of frequently asked questions—and answers—to better understand the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Below are some highlights directly from the FAQ. Visit the FTA’s page to view the list in full.

  • Are all expenses normally eligible under the Urbanized Area Formula Program (49 USC 5307) and the Formula Grants for Rural Area Program (49 USC 5311) eligible under the CARES Act?
  • What is eligible as an operating expense?
  • Is there a limit for how much funding can be used for operating expenses?
  • Are operating costs incurred under operations or maintenance service contracts with third parties, and administrative leave for third-party contractors, including intercity bus providers, eligible for FTA reimbursement under the CARES Act?
  • Are FTA funds available for public transit agencies to reimburse third-party operations and maintenance contractors for the amounts provided in the contracts, even if the levels of service provided by the third-party contractors are reduced because of COVID-19?

The FAQ also answers questions around program requirements, the federal share of the CARES Act grant, period of availability and deadlines for using the funds. If your transit agency plans on or needs to take advantage of this emergency relief, read the FTA’s full FAQ and its answers to learn more. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

U.S.-Canada ports of entry reduce hours of operation

April 7, 2020

Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, traffic volumes in privately-owned vehicles and pedestrian traffic have dropped. Only essential travel has been permitted across the border since March 21, 2020. U.S. Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) is reducing its hours of operation along the U.S-Canadian border to protect its employees from unnecessary exposure to the virus.

These reduced hours are scheduled to stay in place until April 30, 2020, or the travel restriction is lifted.

Ports of entry

Paycheck Protection Program is now live

April 3, 2020

The newly enacted Paycheck Protection Program (Small Business Loan Program) is now officially live. The new application was posted online last night (link below) and starting today, small businesses can apply for part of the nearly $350 billion in loans that are part of the recent stimulus package.

What you need to know

Go to your own bank first. Banks expect a high volume of application submissions. A few lenders are ready to go today; most will be ready next week. Lenders will likely be ready sooner, but all FDIC institutions will be brought on board in the coming days. Apply as early as possible, and don’t be surprised if the process is a bit chaotic. Read our online article and visit the links below for more information.

Read the Article

Read the full Interim Final Rule.
Download the Paycheck Protection Program application.

Q&A on School District Operations during COVID-19

April 3, 2020

Truckers in Laredo, Texas must now wear a mask

April 2, 2020

Announced today, truckers traveling in or through Laredo, Texas must wear a face cover. Those who don’t could be issued a fine of up to $1,000.

This decision was made by Laredo’s city council members, who are stepping up measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. Per the city council, the face cover does not have to be a facemask specifically. Any type of fabric covering will do, including a scarf or bandana. Truckers are required to wear a face cover during all public outings, including pumping gas and picking up food.

Read the full story from Transportation Nation.

U.S. Department of Treasury: Assistance for small businesses

April 1, 2020

The U.S. Department of the Treasury just released guidance for small business forgivable loans included in the CARES Act. The department has also released the application and information to learn more.

Resources to learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

March 31, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) takes effect April 1, 2020. Now, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has published guidance to help employees and employers use the protections and relief offered.

The FFCRA gives all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees the funds to provide their employees paid leave to use for taking care of their own health or for taking care of their family members. This legislation is to ensure workers don’t have to choose between earning a living and supporting public health measures needed to fight the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, these small businesses are reimbursed to support their continued survival.

Resources
Find answers to critical questions, including how to count your employees, how to determine coverage, how to obtain an exemption, what about part-time employees, duration of leave and more.

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

March 31, 2020

From the FTA: Frequently asked questions regarding how to respond to COVID-19

March 31, 2020

To help you be informed and prepared, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has posted a list of frequently asked questions—and answers. Below are some highlights directly from the FAQ. Visit the FTA's page to view the list in full.

  • Is funding available under FTA’s Emergency Relief Program for public transportation expenses related to COVID-19?
  • Has FTA waived any federal requirements?
  • How can FTA funding support transit agency response measures?

Additionally, the FAQ features CDC recommendations and FAQs specifically for workplace preparedness and protection, such as:

  • Are masks or other protective gear recommended for transit workers?
  • How can transit agencies and operators best begin a constructive dialogue about COVID-19 with public health officials in their local community?
  • What transit interior surfaces require the most attention and what cleaning solutions are the most effective against the virus? How frequently should cleaning occur?
  • What actions can transit agencies take to increase COVID-19 preparedness for potential outbreaks in their service areas?
  • What personal protective equipment should we provide to our employees?

The FTA's FAQ also includes a list of transit agency are responding and links to their information. Read the FTA's full FAQ and its answers to learn more. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

FMCSA publishes 3-month CLP waiver

March 30, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020, the FMCSA published a waiver related to the Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). Waives the requirement under 49 CFR 383.25(a)(1) that a CLP holder be accompanied by a CDL holder, with the proper CDL class and endorsements, seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP holder operates a CMV on public roads or highways.

What this waiver does

  • A CLP holder may operate a CMV on public roads or highways without an accompanying CDL holder present in the front seat of the vehicle, provided that the CDL holder is elsewhere in the cab, the CLP holder is in possession of evidence from the testing jurisdiction, including an authorized third-party tester, that the CLP holder has passed the CDL driving skills test, and, unless the FMCSA waiver issued on March 24, 2020 applies, that the CLP holder has a valid non-CDL driver’s license, CLP, and medical certificate.
  • Waives the restriction under 49 CFR 383.79(a) that limits a State to administering a driving skills test, in accordance with subparts F, G, and H of 49 CFR part 383, to a nondomiciled CDL applicant who has taken driver training in that State.
  • Under the terms, conditions, and restrictions of this waiver, a State may elect to administer a driving skills test to any nondomiciled CDL applicant, regardless of where the applicant received driver training.

Learn more

Read the FMCSA's 3-month CLP waiver in full. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Texas Governor Abbott has issued travel restrictions between Texas and Louisiana

March 30, 2020

Here’s what you need to know. Employees who commute from Texas to Louisiana (or vice versa) each day for work can continue to do so. Governor Abbott’s order specifically exempts “people traveling in connection with commercial activity…[and] critical infrastructure functions.” The trucking industry and the businesses who support it are exempt from this order, consistent with federal guidelines for essential employees.

Read the Governor Abbot's order and read the proclamation identifying states included in the ban. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

CISA updates its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

March 30, 2020

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated the list of “essential critical infrastructure workers” with regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

On page 9, you’ll find other critical infrastructure designations, including employees:

  • “supporting personal and commercial transportation services”
  • who “repair and maintain vehicles…and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers”
  • “supporting or enabling transportation functions”

That last bullet includes truck drivers, fleet dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, motor vehicle regulatory authority employees, and roadside assistance workers.

Page 10 features the following statement under a list of critical workforce employees: “workers critical to rental and leasing of vehicles and equipment that facilitate continuity of operations for essential workforces and other essential travel.”

Learn more

Read the CISA's Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce in full. If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Guidelines for keeping cabs clean

March 30, 2020

Truckers swap trucks, which makes in-cab cleaning and sanitizing critical to keeping drivers healthy. The ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council offers the following recommended practices for keeping truck cabs clean.

IFTA urges waiving enforcement of credentials

March 30, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Board of Trustees sent a letter to the IFTA Commissioners explaining that the Trustees have encouraged all jurisdictions to waive enforcement of credentials until June 30, 2020. The IFTA Board recognizes that some states already have, but given the gravity of the virus, all states should consider doing so. The letter also briefly mentions that IFTA, Inc. has issued a new Netting Calendar, which will provide relief in filing returns and remitting payments to carriers in all jurisdictions during this crisis.

Learn more

Download information on the Netting Calendar  |  Download the letter in its entirety

If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

Industry President signs $2T stimulus bill to provide economic relief

March 27, 2020

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed a $2 trillion legislative package to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and provide workers and businesses hit by the disruption some relief. In addition to relief to small businesses, individuals and loans for corporations, this bill also includes $25 billion for public transit formula operating and capital grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19.

Highlights include:

  • $25B for public transit
  • small business aid
  • loan fund for corporations
  • direct payments to individuals
  • student loan payments suspended
  • expanded and extended unemployment aid
  • unemployment benefits for part-time and contract employees, and the self-employed

Download a copy of the bill. And, if you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

ABA Webinar: Coronavirus and the Motorcoach, Group Travel and Tourism Industry

March 27, 2020

American Bus Association (ABA) recently hosted a webinar covering the status of the bus industry, what’s happening and what help is available at this time. View the webinar in full to learn about what’s going on in Washington D.C. and how other companies are trying to navigate today’s challenges.

If you have questions, contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

See Webinar

CVSA Postpones International Roadcheck

March 26, 2020

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, the CVSA is moving its International Roadcheck from May 5-7 to a date later in the year. This new date is yet to be determined. The CVSA is closely monitoring the situation and will notify the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community, the motor carrier industry, the press and the public when it chooses a new date.

Important

  • Operation Safe Driver Week is still scheduled for July 12-18.
  • Brake Safety Week is still set for August 23-29.
  • Daily roadside safety inspections and traffic enforcement are still being conducted. Enforcement personnel are following their departmental health and safety policies and procedures, as appropriate.

If you have questions, consult your own legal, or contact our dedicated Safety and Compliance team.

From the FMSCA: Part 2 of frequently asked questions related to its emergency declaration

March 26, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA suspended its HoS regulations (Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code) for certain truck drivers. And it previously released a list of frequently asked questions for further clarification. Now, it’s released an additional list of frequently asked questions (and answers). This new list goes into more detail about

  • what’s covered and what’s not
  • what a driver should do if there’s nowhere to park to rest
  • if time spent driving to pick up a truck counts as on duty

Read our short online article for highlights. And download this new FAQ by the FMCSA.

Read the Article

Canada issues HoS exemption relief

March 26, 2020

Transport Canada, the Provinces and Territories, through the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), have approved the Essential Freight Transport Exemption to assist federally regulated motor carriers (also known as extra-provincial carriers) and their drivers, who transport essential supplies and equipment in direct assistance to emergency COVID-19 relief efforts in Canada. This exemption provides temporary relief from scheduling provisions in Canada’s HoS regulations. All other elements of Canada’s HoS regulations remain in effect.

For now, the Essential Freight Transport Exemption will be available until April 30, 2020. Read our online article for details and to download a fully copy of Canada’s Essential Freight Transport Exemption.

Read the Article

Relief: U.S. Senate passes Phase Three emergency legislation

March 26, 2020

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed “Phase Three” emergency legislation, which includes important relief for employers and small business. This bill provides critical assistance to small- and midsize motor carriers needed to maintain payrolls, the economy’s supply lines and the movement of essential goods on which all Americans rely.

  • Provides nearly $350 billion in federally guaranteed loans via the Paycheck Protection Program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses that maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
  • To provide immediate access to capital for small businesses that have been impacted by the coronavirus, allows the Paycheck Protection Program to cover:
    • payroll costs
    • paid sick leave
    • supply chain disruptions
    • employee salaries
    • health insurance premiums
    • mortgage payments
    • other debt obligations.
  • Provides $17 billion in small business debt relief by requiring the Small Business Administration to pay all principal, interest, and fees on all existing SBA loan products for six months to provide relief to small businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus.
  • Provides $10 billion for expanded eligibility for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, including emergency grants, an advance of $10,000 within three days to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, and to service other debt obligations.

FMCSA update to drug and alcohol testing guidance

March 25, 2020

The FMCSA has released updated guidance for motor carriers conducting drug and alcohol testing during the current coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Because of the disruptions this pandemic has caused, these guidelines are to ensure everyone’s safety, while providing reasonable flexibility for motor carriers operating under these challenging circumstances.

This updated guidance is in effect until May 30, 2020, unless the national emergency is extended beyond that date.

Read the online article for a summary of the FMCSA’s guidance. If you have questions, reach out to our team of safety and compliance experts.

Read the Article

FMCSA waiver for states, CDL holders, CLP holders and interstate drivers operating CMVs

March 24, 2020

This morning, the FMCSA issued a temporary waiver for states, CDL holders, CLP holders and interstate drivers operating commercial motor vehicles in response to the COVID-19 emergency. Given the limited availability and operations of State Driver License Agencies and Medical facilities, the FMCSA has determined that it’s in the public’s interest to issue a waiver, limited in scope and circumstances, until June 30, 2020. Additionally, the FMCSA issued a Notice of Enforcement Policy to exercise its enforcement discretion in certain cases when a CLP, CDL or Medical Certificate is expired.

Important

This is not a blanket exemption from CLP, CDL and/or Medical Certificate requirements. Drivers and carriers should review the details of the waiver to ensure their operations qualify.

Read the Article

Q&A with Zonar Safety & Compliance on COVID-19

March 22, 2020

U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico ban non-essential travel across their borders

March 22, 2020

On March 22, 2020, the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico borders Ports of Entry have implemented a temporary ban on non-essential travel until 11:59 pm EST on April 20.

What is not banned

This partial ban does not apply to essential travel such as trade, any kind of truck freight, or truck drivers from all three countries (assuming the driver is not sick), but does apply to passenger rail and ferry travel.

The notice defines “essential travel” as including, but not limited to:

  • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States
  • individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States)
  • individuals traveling to attend educational institutions
  • individuals traveling to work in the United States
  • individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies)
  • individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada or Mexico)
  • individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel
  • members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States
  • individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations
What is banned

People traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events) are not considered “essential travel.”

Challenges facing pending annual IRP renewals

March 20, 2020

In response to COVID-19, many states have closed or reduced their Departments of Motor Vehicles operations. As a result, they’ve also reduced their ability to answer questions and process services for motor carriers. This reduction in service capabilities has been particularly difficult for the states’ ability to operate the International Registration Plan (IRP).

One of the main concerns facing motor carriers are pending annual IRP renewals. To address the issue, the IRP Board of Directors has held several phone calls to discuss the best way to reduce the burden on the carriers.

The many possibilities include:

  • halting the enforcement of renewals
  • allowing for payments to be made in installments rather than all at once

To further complicate this situation, there is no mechanism in place to halt or manage payments across all jurisdictions. This would mean that a Base Jurisdiction could halt the enforcement of renewals, but other states might not take a similar action, which would cause the carrier to still have to pay the other jurisdictions in which they operate.

Find some of the latest developments from the IRP by visiting their website.

Visit IRP

From the FMSCA: Frequently asked questions related to its emergency declaration

March 19, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA suspended its HoS regulations (Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code) for certain truck drivers. Now, it’s also published a list of frequently asked questions (and answers) regarding:

  • what's covered, what's not
  • paper logs and ELDs
  • driver breaks
  • mixed loads
  • required restarts
  • documentation needed to verify

Read our short online article for highlights. And download the full FAQ by the FMCSA.

Read the Article

FMCSA expands its emergency declaration

March 18, 2020

On March 13, 2020, the FMCSA first issued a nation-wide relief of its HoS regulations, following President Trump’s issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. Today, the FMCSA expanded that declaration by:

  • adding to and refining the list of covered transportation services
  • clarifying what constitutes a mixed load

Visit our online article for more information and to download the updated declaration.

Read the Article

Question and Answer Summary: the ATA and FMCSA discuss the recent Emergency Declaration

March 18, 2020

As a member of the ATA Safety Policy Committee, we can provide the latest from ATA. Download a PDF of questions and answers covered between the ATA and FMCSA on a recent conference call regarding the FMCSA’s emergency declaration. Keep in mind, these responses are subject to further interpretation and change, especially as the situation with regard to COVID-19 evolves. You are responsible for reviewing the emergency declaration and working with the appropriate authorities to best comply with the federal rules and regulations.

Download Q&A

FMCSA suspends HoS requirements for certain drivers

March 13, 2020

For the first time, the FMCSA has issued a nation-wide relief of its HoS regulations, following President Trump’s issuing of a national emergency declaration in response to COVID-19. According to the FMCSA’s emergency declaration, “motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations.”

Read the full online article for more on:

  • what this temporary exemption includes
  • what it does not include
  • what you and your drivers should do
  • what if a driver needs rest

Plus, download the emergency declaration in full.

Read the Article

More COVID-19 news affecting the industry

Articles