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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CDC releases COVID-19 communication plan for select non-healthcare employers

August 5, 2020

Due to the number of COVID-19 cases among certain non-healthcare critical infrastructure employees, the CDC is working with employers to ensure employees have available accurate, actionable and timely disease prevention and control information.

The CDC’s communication plan:

  • outlines actions employers in select non-healthcare critical industries can take to share key prevention messages with their employees
  • suggests key messages that employers and community leaders can include to help employees protect themselves, their families and the surrounding community
  • provides links to existing CDC communication materials which have been translated into multiple languages

Visit the CDC’s website for the communication plan.

PPP deadline is August 8—hurry if you want to apply

August 4, 2020

Instead of Congress going into recess for the month of August, House leadership has announced that the lower chamber will not adjourn until the next round of coronavirus aid has been finalized. The Senate’s adjournment date might also be delayed unless a compromise is reached in time. Unless Congress extends the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the program will stop approving and allocating funding this coming weekend.

The deadline to apply is Saturday, August 8, 2020. This might be the last PPP funding seen until congressional leaders and the White House agree on new terms. If you’ve considered applying or simply haven’t yet, you are strongly encouraged to review the program’s application.

Learn more and review the application on the SBA’s website.

TSA extends Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment

August 3, 2020

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is extending the exemption from its Renewal of the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Security Threat Assessment for Certain Individuals for 90 days. This exemption enables states to extend the expiration date of hazardous materials endorsements (HMEs) that expire on or after March 1, 2020, for 180 days. If a state grants an extension, the person with an expired HME must begin the process of renewing his or her security threat assessment (STA) for the HME no later than 60 days before the end of the state-granted extension.

This extension of the previously issued exemption, published on April 8, 2020, becomes effective on August 1, 2020, and remains in effect through October 29, 2020.

Read the full entry and extension in the Federal Register.

CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting your facility

July 31, 2020

With more people going back to work, keeping your facility properly sanitized is critical. But not all recommendations and protocols make sense, thus making them hard to follow. The CDC has outlined—in plain language—standard, everyday steps for safely and effectively cleaning workspaces, living spaces and other areas.

The guidance includes:

  • how to safely clean and disinfect
  • what protective items to wear
  • what disinfectants and solutions to use
  • how often to routinely clean
  • how to make a bleach solution
  • cleaning soft surfaces
  • cleaning electronics such as tablets, touch screens and remotes
  • doing laundry for someone who is sick
  • cleaning and disinfecting outdoor areas
  • alternative disinfection methods
  • other safety precautions

The CDC’s guidance also includes how to clean and disinfect your building or facility if someone is sick. Plus additional considerations for employers so you can develop procedures and train staff to properly clean, disinfect and recognize symptoms.

Visit the CDC webpage for the detailed guidance.

COVID-19 product vendor list for public transportation

July 30, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way public transit fleets operate. To ensure the safety of employees and passengers, agencies have implemented and enhanced measures for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitization, as well as social distancing. Plus, they now provide their workforce personal protective equipment (PPE) and face coverings. The demand for these types of supplies has boomed. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) have compiled and published a COVID-19 Vendor List for Transit, which includes information on vendors and products that transit agencies may use in their response and recovery efforts.

Product categories included

  • Barriers, shields and protective guards
  • Chemical disinfectants
  • COVID-19 testing kits
  • Face coverings and dispensers
  • Face shields
  • Gloves and dispensers
  • Hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and dispensers
  • Signs, stickers and floor decals
  • Thermometers

Per the published document, “This Vendor List is provided to align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local, and state governmental recommendations and requirements for reducing the risks to passengers and employees related to COVID-19 and is not provided as an endorsement of a particular product or vendor by APTA or CTAA.”

Download the COVID-19 Vendor List.

CBSA to collect personal information at border crossings

July 28, 2020

Starting July 30, all ports of entry (POEs) from the U.S. into Canada will begin collecting personal contact information from exempt travelers, including commercial truck drivers crossing the border. Ports of Entry participating include Ambassador, Blue Water and Cornwall Crossings. Commercial truck drivers are encouraged to use the ArriveCAN app before arriving at a POE to reduce the need to exchange information and input by Border Services Officers in the Primary Inspection Line. Ultimately, using the app will also reduce processing times and prevent excessive Border Wait Times.

According to the CBSA’s official announcement

  • Personal information is only collected once and does not need to be re-entered when a truck driver crosses the border again.
  • Exempt travelers include those with and without symptoms.
  • The ArriveCAN app will only collect information needed to promote and confirm compliance under the Government of Canada’s Emergency Orders.
  • The app does not use any other technology or data, such as GPS, to monitor self-isolation.

Read CBSA’s official announcement for more information.

Updated information for the Paycheck Protection Program

July 28, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released updated information from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). As of last Friday, PPP has approved over 5 million loans, totaling roughly $520 billion in total dollars approved through the program.

Download the latest report to see:

  • a summary of the approved lending other details
  • program loan counts and dollar amount per state
  • top PPP lenders and their loan counts
  • breakdown of loan counts per industry

Download the SBA’s latest PPP report.

NSA and CISA recommend immediate actions to reduce exposure across operational technologies and control systems

July 27, 2020

Cyber actors continue malicious cyber activity against critical infrastructure (CI) by exploiting internet-accessible operational technologies. Attacks are increasing in frequency and severity, and if they’re successful, disruptive to our security and way of life. These cyberattacks are to be taken extremely seriously.

According to a recent alert from the CISA: “At this time of heightened tensions, it is critical that asset owners and operators of critical infrastructure take the following immediate steps to ensure resilience and safety of U.S. systems should a time of crisis emerge in the near term. The National Security Agency (NSA) along with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommend that all DoD, NSS, DIB, and U.S. critical infrastructure facilities take immediate actions to secure their OT assets.”

The NSA and CISA have put together a report detailing its recent findings around these attacks and a recommended action plan for tightening the security of your OT assets.

Read and download the full report.

Updated self-isolation guidance from the CDC

July 27, 2020

Per the CDC, people who contract COVID-19 and are able to recover at home should self-isolate, even if they have no symptoms. Up to this point, much guidance has stated that the period for self-isolation is 14 days. The CDC has recently updated its guidance to 10 days.

Whether you need to self-isolate at this time or not, read the CDC’s guidance in full.

CDC updates list of underlying risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19

July 27, 2020

The CDC maintains an online, living list that outlines underlying health factors that put a person at greater risk for severe illness from COVID-19. The CDC also defines “severe illness” as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death. In this latest update, qualifiers to previously listed conditions were added or removed based on strength of evidence.

For the fill list of conditions based on evidence, visit the CDC’s website.

Canada establishes ESCR to ensure PPE for essential services

July 27, 2020

Canada’s Essential Services Contingency Reserve (ESCR) is a program designed to ensure that essential services such as trucking always have access to PPE. Through this program, eligible essential service businesses and organizations can apply for PPE, non-medical face masks and disinfection products for urgent, short-term needs. Supplies are provided on a cost-recovery basis to those unable to access these supplies through other means and when significant service disruptions are imminent. You can register your business or organization when the ESCR begins operations on August 3, 2020.

Learn more about the Visit the PPE supply hub for more on buying PPE.

Access links to Learn more about eligibility and registration.

Canadian government releases ArriveCan mobile app

July 24, 2020

Currently, travelers entering Canada must provide basic contact information using the traveler contact form. Now the Canadian federal government has released the voluntary ArriveCan mobile app to make it easier for individuals entering the country to provide their contact information to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) beforehand—instead of taking more time to provide the same info if requested by border officials. So if you’re a commercial carrier crossing the border, this should reduce the time it takes while still enabling you to provide the mandatory information to enter the country. Using this app will also limit physical contact with others.

The ArriveCan mobile app is available for the iOS, Android and web-based platforms. Note: the information must be submitted through the app 48 hours before arriving in Canada.

Learn more about the ArriveCan mobile app.

Access links to download the ArriveCan mobile app.

New DOL guidance issued for 3 key laws affecting workers and employers

July 24, 2020

Workplaces continue to open, and many people are going back to work. With this in mind, the U.S. Department of Labor has published additional guidance for workers and employers on how the protections and requirements of the following affect the workplace.

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The latest addition to the compliance assistance materials published by the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) includes commonly asked questions and answers for all three. According to WHD Administrator Cheryl Stanton, “…we are providing ongoing guidance to help them better understand their rights and responsibilities to protect workers and help ensure a level playing field for employers as our economy recovers.”

Materials included

Learn more about the guidance and find links to additional resources. Read the news release from the DOL.

Waiver for operating intermodal equipment with expired annual inspection decals is extended

July 20, 2020

The FMCSA has extended the deadline for its waiver to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) from the requirements of 49 CFR 396.17(c). This waiver allows the operation of intermodal chassis with annual inspection decals (or similar) that show an expiration date of March 31, 2020, or later. With the COVID-19 crisis still ongoing, this waiver will help ensure that intermodal chassis remain available to transport critical goods and supplies to support recovery.

This wavier was granted on behalf of intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) and motor carriers operating intermodal chassis. According to the FMCSA’s official release, “IEPs may include ocean carriers, railroads, and equipment leasing companies.”

Effective date is July 16, 2020, and expires either on September 01, 2020, or if the White House revokes its emergency declaration regarding the public health emergency; whichever is sooner.

Read the announcement in full.

FHWA issues guidance reflecting the expiration of special permits

July 15, 2020

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has issued guidance reflecting the expiration of the emergency exemption for states to issue permits for overweight trucks on interstate highways. The guidance notes that the special permits authority expired on July 11, which is 120 days after the national emergency for the COVID-19 outbreak was declared on March 13.

Read the full guidance from the FHWA.

Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers suspend operations until August 10

July 13, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of minimizing exposure and controlling the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, all U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers will suspend operations until at least August 10, 2020. This temporary closure includes all public access to Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST enrollment locations.

Enrollment on Arrival remains operational at participating airports Find Enrollment on Arrival locations.

FMCSA extends its Emergency Declaration through August 14, 2020

July 13, 2020

Due to the ongoing national emergency, the FMCSA is extending its Modified Emergency Declaration (no. 2020-002 under 49 CFR § 390.25) through August 14, 2020. Under this extension, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the COVID-19 emergency relief efforts may continue operating under the exemptions set forth in the declaration through that date.

Similar to the last extension in June, this extension is limited to the transportation of:

  • livestock and livestock feed
  • medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 (masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants)

In its June extension, FMCSA concluded there was no longer a need for emergency relief with respect to other categories of transportation, including food and fuel, and, therefore, removed those categories.

Read more about the Emergency Declaration extension.

PHMSA extends its enforcement discretion for transporting certain sanitization and disinfection products

July 13, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues, and the PHMSA recognizes the challenges transportation companies face providing personnel with essential protective items such as hand sanitizers. Additionally, workplace locations such as package sorting facilities, airport ramps, stations, and delivery vehicles often lack ready access to soap and water, making the need for sanitizing and disinfecting products that much more important. So, the PHMSA is extending its enforcement discretion for the transportation of any carrier transporting sanitizing and disinfecting materials for the purposes of protecting the health and safety of employees of the carrier. The extended enforcement discretion will continue through October 31, 2020.

Transport of these products must also be in accordance with the PHMSA’s April 20, 2020, Notice of Enforcement Discretion.

FMCSA publishes guidance on special permits expiration

July 13, 2020

The FMCSA has published a short FAQ to provide more information regarding special permits expiration. This guidance includes whether or not the CARES Act supersedes the 120-day limitation for the duration of special permits issued under 23 U.S.C. 127(i). Whether the deadline is a fiscal year or a calendar deadline. Read the guidance in full.

CBP to begin reopening Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers July 6

July 7, 2020

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) plans to reopen Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers in early July. According to the CBP’s press release: “Beginning July 6, conditionally approved Global Entry, SENTRI and U.S.-Mexico FAST applicants will be able to complete in-person interviews at most Trusted Traveler Programs enrollment centers in the United States. Applicants must schedule enrollment center interviews in advance by logging into their accounts on the Trusted Traveler Programs website. Interview availability will vary by location. NEXUS and U.S.-Canada FAST interviews at U.S. and Canadian enrollment centers will remain suspended until at least August 10.”

CBP consulted its health and safety experts in developing these plans so that measures will be in place to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for travelers and CBP personnel.

Protective measures include:

  • face covering requirements
  • staggered or reduced appointment availability
  • the elimination of sign-in sheets and certain other touch points
  • reduced seating in waiting areas
  • plexiglass barriers at service counters
  • other measures to promote social distancing

Specific health and safety measures may vary per location. All Trusted Traveler Programs applicants will still be required to submit fingerprints during their interview, and CBP is coordinating with its partners to increase how frequently surfaces are cleaned.

Read CBP’s full press release.

Visit the Trusted Travelers Programs webpage.

Canadian truck arrivals return to normal

July 7, 2020

According to the Canada Border Services Agency, truck arrivals have returned to normal levels for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic four months ago. Since businesses and factories in Canada and the U.S. began reopening in May, truck arrivals have steadily increased. Now, from June 29 through July 5, 87,549 truck drivers entered Canada. During the same timeframe last year, that number was 87,550.

FMCSA grants enforcement discretion for drug testing requirements

July 7, 2020

The FMCSA has announced that it will grant enforcement discretion to motor carriers unable to meet the 50% random drug testing requirements under 49 CFR part 382. This notice gives carriers enforcement discretion when enforcing the random controlled substance and alcohol testing requirements.

The FMCSA’s notice is not a suspension of the current random testing requirements, including the 50% testing rate. Employers capable of meeting the requirements must continue to do so.

Document why they’re unable to meet the rate requirements. The FMCSA recognizes that are barriers to full compliance in some locations. Employers who are unable to meet the random drug and/or alcohol testing rates must maintain written documentation of the specific reasons for non-compliance. This includes, for example, “documentation of closures or restricted use of testing facilities or the unavailability of testing personnel.”

Additionally, employers should “document actions taken to identify alternative testing sites or other testing resources.”

Select the correct percentages of drivers. Employers must continue to select drivers at the required rate of 50% of their average number of driver positions for controlled substances, and 10% for random alcohol testing during the calendar year 2020.

Document why they’re unable to meet calendar requirements. Employers who are unable to ensure that the dates for administering random controlled substances and alcohol tests are spread reasonably throughout the calendar year should document the specific reasons why they did not meet this requirement.

This notice pertains to employers’ noncompliance, during calendar year 2020. Next year, the FMCSA may exercise enforcement discretion in connection with motor carrier investigations occurring in calendar year 2021.

Read the full notice at the FMCSA’s website.

Paycheck Protection Program small business relief extended

July 6, 2020

The deadline for small businesses to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended to August 8, 2020. At this time, about $130 billion of the $660 billion allocated for the program is still available in the fund for small businesses needing federal assistance to cover costs such as payroll and rent. The PPP enables businesses to get direct government subsidies, which come as federal loans and can be forgiven if businesses use at least 60% of the funds for payroll.

Visit the SBA’s PPP website.

Canadian border officials collecting truckers’ personal information

July 6, 2020

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, Canadian officials have launched a new initiative to track travelers entering their country. As part of this initiative, Canadian border officials have begun asking commercial drivers for personal information such as email addresses and cell phone numbers to enhance contact tracing capabilities.

For now, this additional requirement in effect at the following ports of entry:

  • St. Stephen, NB 3rd Bridge/Calais ME
  • St. Armand, QC/Highgate Springs, VT
  • Lansdowne, ON/Alexandria Bay, NY
  • Queenston-Lewiston Bridge, Queenston, ON/Lewiston, NY
  • Coutts, AB/Sweet Grass, MT
  • Pacific Highway, Surrey, BC/Blaine, WA

This list may expand. Visit the Canada Border Services Agency website for the latest border measures and requirements.

Since March 31, Canada has required incoming travelers to complete a Traveler Contact Information Form to help monitor and enforce its mandatory 14-day quarantine or isolation period. Essential commercial drivers have been exempt provided they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. As part of the exemption, these drivers haven’t been required to provide their contact information. While still exempt from the mandatory quarantine (provided they are symptom free), commercial drivers are now being asked for their contact information.

Visit the Canada Trucking Alliance’s website to learn more.

COVID-19 relief provisions expiring in July

July 6, 2020

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act that was put in place at the end of March included measures that are set to expire this month.

  • Additional unemployment benefits: The extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits is set to expire July 31. States will only pay the additional funds through the week ending July 25 (July 26 in New York).
  • Income taxes: The extended deadline for filing income taxes is July 15. No additional extension has been extended or is guaranteed to be included in any additional round of economic relief packages.
  • Eviction moratoriums: The 120-day eviction moratoriums for federally backed properties was initially is set to expire on July 25, 2020. Starting on that day, landlords can begin issuing notices of eviction, but cannot remove individuals living in those properties for another 30 days (minimum).

Eviction bans vary state by state for those living in privately backed properties. For homeowners with federally backed mortgages, the foreclosure moratorium has been extended until August 31, 2020.

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

June 29, 2020

CDC fights misinformation with facts

June 29, 2020

COVID-19 continues to spread across the nation. To combat misinformation by providing facts, the CDC has put together important information for people to better understand COVID-19, its risks and how to help stop its spread.

Visit the CDC’s Stop the Spread of Rumors to learn more about:

  • who can get sick from COVID-19
  • how some people may have an increased risk of becoming seriously ill
  • simple ways to keep yourself and others healthy
  • knowing the signs and symptoms

3 states require 14-day quarantine for travelers from hotspots

June 25, 2020

Governors for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for travelers entering those states and who are coming from a state determined to be a COVID-19 “hotspot.”

As of June 24, 2020, these hotspots include:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Utah
  • Texas

Important

This list is subject to change at a moment’s notice, on any given day. For carriers and CMV carriers already operating under the FMCSA’s emergency declaration exemption, New York has clarified that essential workers such as truckers are exempt. We are waiting for further clarity from the other states on the list.

Download New York’s official advisory..

PHMSA issues two notices of extension through October 2020

June 25, 2020

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has issued two notices of extension to ensure continued guidance and support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notice of Extension of Temporary Policy for the Transport of Hand-Sanitizers

As the COVID-19 public health emergency continues, multiple companies continue producing essential products, such as hand sanitizer and other alcohol-based products, to support response efforts and help people practice good habits to stay healthy. The demand for these products remains high. To continue to provide appropriate guidance and facilitate the increased availability of these important products, the PHMSA is extending its temporary relief from certain requirements until October 31, 2020. This extension also expands to include rail transportation. Read the Temporary Extension to Transport Hand-Sanitizers.

Notice of Extension of Enforcement Discretion Regarding Hazardous Materials Training Requirements

The PHMSA understands that social distancing practices enacted by state and local governments in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency has made it difficult for many offerors and carriers of hazardous materials to meet certain training requirements. As a result, the PHMSA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the United States Coast Guard will extend their enforcement discretion for certain hazardous materials training requirements until October 31, 2020. Read the Extended Enforcement Discretion Notice for Hazardous Materials Training Requirements.

Online tool to help workers determine eligibility for leave related to COVID-19

June 24, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched an interactive online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to cover time away from work for reasons related to the coronavirus. The tool guides you through a series of questions to help you determine if the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to your employer.

The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat the workplace effects of the coronavirus by giving tax credits to American businesses with fewer than 500 employees to reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave as required by the law. If your employer qualifies, the tool helps you learn whether you qualify for either paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under that law.

According to Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Administrator Cheryl Stanton, “As America reopens, this leave provides a crucial lifeline for millions of workers who need time off to care for themselves or their families. We want to ensure that everyone who is eligible knows about these protections and how to use them.”

Read the DOL’s press release for more information on the interactive online tool.

Access the interactive online tool.

Visit WHD’s Quick Benefits Tips for more on about how much leave workers may qualify to use and the wages employers must pay.

Learn more about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

APTA releases cleaning and disinfecting guidance for public transportation agencies

June 23, 2020

To help public transit agencies balance resuming operations with being as safe as possible, the APTA has published a white paper that provides guidance in developing protocols for cleaning and disinfecting their vehicles and facilities. This white paper, Cleaning and Disinfecting Transit Vehicles and Facilities During a Contagious Virus Pandemic, is specifically written to address concerns and protocols that help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

What’s covered

The contents of this white paper is guidance, not law. If any part of the white paper conflicts with an established state or federal regulation, that regulation takes precedence.

  • vehicle and facility surface disinfecting and cleaning
  • managing areas where an infected person has been present
  • ATP quality check
  • lab testing
  • facility and vehicle design modification considerations
  • employee barriers
  • personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • sanitation and screen provisions

Per the white paper

“This white paper is designed to aid transit agencies in the development of viral pandemic response programs for maintenance, cleaning and disinfecting their vehicles and facilities. Transit agencies should consider whether and how the various elements in this white paper apply to their own requirements, plans and policies, and local health departments and regulations. Once a transit agency drafts a cleaning and disinfecting program, it should consider sharing it with the local health department and other stakeholders for review and comment before issuing a final document.”

Download the APTA’s white paper, Cleaning and Disinfection Transit Vehicles and Facilities During a Contagious Virus Pandemic.

FMCSA issues waiver for CDL knowledge test examiner training for certain third-party examiners

June 22, 2020

In early April, the FMCSA issued a waiver allowing third-party CLD text examiners to administer the CDL knowledge without completing a CDL knowledge test training course. This waiver, which was set to expire June 30, 2020, is now extended until September 30, 2020, or until the federal emergency declaration is revoked (whichever comes first).

Per the waiver

“FMCSA waives the commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge test examiner training requirements in 49 CFR §§ 384.228(b)-(c) for certain third party CDL skills test examiners. This waiver allows State authorized third party skills test examiners who have maintained a valid CDL test examiner certification and have previously completed a CDL skills test examiner training course that satisfies the requirements of 49 CFR § 384.228(d) to administer the CDL knowledge test without completing a CDL knowledge test training course.”

Read the waiver in full. If you have questions, please contact our dedicated team of safety and compliance experts.

FMCSA provides new guidance for cross-border transportation

June 22, 2020

In its new guidance for cross-border transportation, the FMCSA address two specific topics: its waiver issued July 1 and its Notice of Enforcement Policy issued June 15. (Scroll down for more information on those.) This new guidance does not serve as a law, but is meant to clarify existing requirements of the law.

In accordance with 49 CFR 383.23(a)(1) and 391.41(a)(1)(i), the FMCSA’s July 1 waiver continues to recognize the validity of commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States, in accordance with 49 CFR part 383. Additionally, the FMCSA’s Notice of Enforcement Policy Regarding Expiring Driver’s Licenses and Medical Examiner’s Certificates during the COVID-19 National Emergency also continue to recognize the validity of commercial driver’s licenses issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories and Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States, in accordance with 49 CFR part 383.

Read the guidance in full.

Read the FMCSA’S July 1 Waiver.

Read the FMCSA’s Notice of Enforcement of Enforcement Policy.

SBA streamlines the PPP loan-forgiveness application process

June 19, 2020

The U.S. Treasury Department and the SBA have shortened the Payroll Protection Program’s (PPP) loan-forgiveness application and introduced a shorter version for some borrowers. The revised full application has been reduced to 5 pages, including a page of instructions, from the original 11. And the new EZ application form is 3 three pages, including instructions, and features simplified calculations. These changes are designed to make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of PPP loans.

Learn more and find the forms here.

OSHA offers guidance for businesses reopening

June 19, 2020

OSHA has issued guidance to help employers reopening their non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work. These guidelines provide general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. During each phase of the reopening process, employers should maintain their focus on strategies for basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee training.

OSHA recommends that employers continually monitor federal, state, and local government guidelines for updated information about ongoing community transmission and mitigation measures, as well as for evolving guidance on disinfection and other best practices for worker protection.

Read the press release in full.

Download the guidance in PDF.

Visit OSHA’s COVID-19 page.

Non-essential travel restrictions along both U.S. borders are extended through July

June 16, 2020

The U.S.-Canada border has been closed to all non-essential travel to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As will the U.S.-Mexico border. For both shared boundaries, both countries have agreed that the border will remain closed to non-essential travel (no recreational visits) at least until July 21, 2020. However, these two borders still remains open to commercial traffic and essential workers who cross the border for work.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Wolf issued a statement, which includes: “Based on the success of the existing restrictions and the emergence of additional global COVID-19 hotspots, the Department will continue to limit non-essential travel at our land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico…The Department of Homeland Security is in close contact with our Canadian and Mexican counterparts regarding this extension, and they agree on the need to extend their non-essential travel restrictions as well.” Read the statement in full.

Essential travel includes, but is 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

View the original notifications of travel restrictions for each border on the DHS website. Officials have stated that these measures will continue to be reviewed 30 days out.

SBA reopens Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance program

June 16, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. The EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest financial assistance for small business and non-profit organizations, which can use the loan to:

  • cover payroll and inventory
  • pay debt
  • fund other expenses

Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses currently experiencing temporary difficulties. These emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

Learn more about the reopening of this program.

Learn more about the program and apply for disaster assistance.

FTA updates its COVID-19 Resource Tool

June 15, 2020

The FTA’s COVID-19 Resource Tool for public transportation provides a centralized location for federal COVID-19 guidance and recommendations, including information from the CDC, OSHA and the EPA. The tool covers topics related to the public transportation industry such as sanitizing transit facilities and vehicles, personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and more.

The FTA updates the tool weekly to include newly issued guidance and provides a summary tab highlighting the updates for faster analysis. For the latest, access the FTA’s COVID-19 Resource Tool webpage.

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

June 15, 2020

FMCSA extends its CDL and medical permit renewal waiver

June 15, 2020

A federal waiver giving drivers with commercial driver’s licenses and medical cards additional time to renew was scheduled to expire June 30. However, the FMCSA has just announced that it’s extending the waiver through September 30, 2020. First issued March 24, this waiver was granted because state motor vehicle departments were closed due to the pandemic. However, many states currently still have closed offices or not enough staff. According to the renewal notice published June 15, “Several States continue to experience greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their State Driver Licensing Agencies [SDLAs] in response to the guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to use social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.” With so many offices closed or operating at limited capacity, renewing a CDL or medical permit remains difficult—and in some cases impossible—for many drivers.

Additionally, the FMCSA has reissued a separate Notice of Enforcement Policy affirming that the agency will not take enforcement action against drivers operating a commercial vehicle if the driver held a valid CDL on February 29, 2020. Nor against the carriers employing those drivers.

Read the FMCSA’s reissued waiver in full.

Read the enforcement waiver in full.

From the SBA: New revisions to the Paycheck Protection Program

June 12, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued the notice Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program—Revisions to First Interim Final Rule. This new Interim Final Rule reflects updates to the Program as a result of the enactment of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA), including changes to loan maturity, deferral of loan payments and forgiveness provisions.

Read the Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program—Revisions to First Interim Final Rule.

CDC guidance for properly washing reusable face coverings

June 12, 2020

Many people use a cloth face covering to protect themselves and others during this pandemic. These face coverings, which are an additional part of everyday preventative actions, need to be washed after each use to keep them safe to use. Read the CDC’s guidance on wearing face cloth coverings correctly and keeping them clean.

OSHA published FAQ regarding facemasks in the workplace

June 11, 2020

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has just published a collection of frequently asked questions around using masks in the workplace. And it answers those questions with guidance, including:

  • the differences between cloth face coverings, surgical masks and respirators
  • whether or not employers are required to provide cloth face coverings
  • how to keep reusable cloth face coverings clean per the CDC’s guidance on washing face coverings
  • if employers still need to ensure social distancing measures are in place if employees wear cloth face coverings

OSHA’s guidance is advisory in nature, not a standard or regulation; it creates no new legal obligations. The agency’s answers contained within its FAQ collection are recommendations and descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards.

Read OSHA’s press release for context and resources.

Access the full collection of OSHA’S FAQ.

Visit OSHA’s coronavirus webpage.

Federal Reserve expands its Main Street Lending Program

June 09, 2020

The Federal Reserve has announced that it’s expanding the Main Street Lending Program to encourage smaller companies in need of help to apply. Like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Main Street Lending Program was created under the CARES Act. However, the Main Street Lending Program focuses on small and medium-sized businesses, with fewer than $15,000 employees or an annual revenue of less than $5 billion.

Now that program is being changed to encourage more participation.

  • Minimum loan amounts lowered from $500,000 to $450,000.
  • Maximum loan amounts raised from $200 million to $300 million.
  • Loan repayment period extended from 4 years to 5 years.
  • First principal payment doesn’t need to be made for 2 years.
  • Participation rates are raised from 85% to 95%.

Companies that received a PPP loan are still eligible for a Main Street Loan. However, unlike PPP loans, Main Street Loans are not eligible for forgiveness.

Read the Federal Reserve’s press release.

Visit the Federal Reserve’s webpage about the Main Street Landing Program.

FMCSA extends and modifies its Emergency Declaration

June 09, 2020

The FMCSA has extended its COVID-19 Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 to July 14, 2020, and modified its lists what types of cargo are covered and not covered. Per the original declaration, which was set to expire June 14, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 public health emergency are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of the FMCSRs. 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 as set forth below.

What is covered

  • livestock and livestock feed
  • medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants

What is not covered

  • Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries, including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration.
  • FMCSA has concluded that there is no longer a need for emergency relief with respect to the other categories of supplies, equipment, and persons covered by the May 13 extension and expansion of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002, and those categories are therefore no longer covered.

The FMCSA also concluded there is no longer need for emergency relief with respect to the other categories of supplies, equipment and persons covered by the previous May 13, 2020, extension. Those categories are therefore no longer covered as of June 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Read the extension and modification in full.

See a complete list of the FMCSA’s waivers.

CDC releases guidance for staying safe during daily life

June 09, 2020

Communities and economies across the country have begun their phased approach to opening. With more people emerging from quarantine to share public spaces again, the CDC has released guidance for staying safe while resuming daily life. Read our online article for more details and to access the CDC’s website with the full guidance.

Read Article

Now signed: Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020

June 08, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA) has been signed and is now law. The PPPFA makes it easier for those who received PPP loans to qualify for loan forgiveness; particularly important for small businesses.

Key changes

  • Covered period is extended from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Payroll costs percentage is lowered from 75% to 60%.
  • Forgivable non-payroll expenses can be up to 40% of spending, up from 25%.
  • Borrowers whose loans are not forgiven have 5 years instead of 2 years to repay the loan.

What qualifies as a forgivable expense has not changed. Nor has the repayment interest rate. Read the PPPFA in full.

FMCSA issues 3-month waiver for certain pre-employment testing requirements

June 08, 2020

The FMCSA has issued a 3-month waiver from certain pre-employment testing requirements applicable to those who employ drivers subject to 49 CFR part 382 (drug and alcohol testing). With the continued demand on motor carriers and commercial drivers, the “FMCSA finds that the granting of this waiver is in the public interest because it will facilitate the efficient return of furloughed commercial motor vehicle drivers to the workforce, allowing them to resume critical transportation functions performed by passenger and property motor carriers. In addition, this waiver will reduce the regulatory burden on employers and furloughed drivers subject to the pre-employment testing requirement.” This waiver will be effective until September 30, 2020.

Download a PDF of the waiver.

Read the waiver on the FMCSA website.

More than $130 billion still available in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

June 08, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released its latest report on the second round of PPP loans. With nearly 158,000 loans approved, the Transportation and Warehousing sector has received more than $16 billion (3.19% of the total amount loaned) through the program. Per the report, more than $130 billion are still available through the program.

Read the latest PPP report.

Visit the PPP website.

Freight traffic across the U.S.-Canada border is on the rebound

June 08, 2020

The number of commercial trucks crossing the U.S.-Canada border has reached its highest level since late March, showing the start of recovery from the plunge at the start of the pandemic. The latest data shows a surge in U.S. freight volumes since the Memorial Day weekend; another positive sign that cross-border freight continues to recover from the slowdown caused by COVID-19. Yet, despite this uptick, merchandise trade between the U.S. and Canada in April declined by more than 35%. The largest decreases came from automotive sector. And, nearly 86,000 trucks entered Canada during the week ending May 31, 2020; a decline of almost 22% compared to the same week last year. Still, freight traffic continues rebounding, even if a fully recovery seems far off.

From the ATA: recommendations for driving through areas of unrest

June 04, 2020

Ongoing protests across our nation have put professional drivers and motor carriers on the frontline. These situations also pose another set of challenges, in which staying safe is priority for drivers who find themselves operating in an area of unrest and potential unrest.

The American Trucking Associations, ATA Safety Management Council (SMC) and the ATA Transportation Security Council (TSC) provide the following recommendations for these drivers to protect themselves by taking key safety and security precautions. Read our online article for the full list of safety and security recommendations.

Learn More

First Light announces temporary face mask purchase program for schools

June 3, 2020

First Light Safety Products is launching a temporary purchase program to make it easier for schools and contractors to buy disposable face masks at a reduced price. This program, which follows the company’s recent donation of 90,000 face masks through the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS), features a dedicated supply for these schools and contractors to ensure better availability and quantities.

Read First Light’s press release for more information.

Download the program’s PDF.

From the CDC: What you should know if you have pets

June 3, 2020

The CDC has released guidance regarding COVID-19 for pet owners. Based on the data collected so far, the risk of animals spreading it to people is low.

However, there exists a limited risk of passing the virus to animals in some situations, especially after close contact with someone who has the virus—even if that person doesn’t know it. A small number of pets worldwide have been reported to be infected. Let’s protect our pets.

  • Don’t let them interact with anyone outside your household.
  • If someone in your household falls ill, isolate that person from everyone else, including pets.

Read the CDC’s full page of guidance.

Read the CDC’s information on COVID-19 and animals.

Access the CDC’s FAQ on COVID-19 and animals.

FDA to increase supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer

June 3, 2020

Today’s health and safety guidelines provided by the CDC include the directive for people to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (if soap and water aren’t available to wash their hands). This essential item is often difficult to come by. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced additional guidance to ensure widespread access to alcohol-based hand sanitizer during this pandemic.

Earlier during the COVID-19 crisis, the FDA used temporary policies to make answering the growing demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizer easier. Larger hospitals have had an easier time of replenishing their supply, but consumers and smaller healthcare providers continue to struggle with limited quantities. This guidance provides clarification on the manufacturing and compounding of certain hand sanitizer products to ensure that harmful levels of contaminants aren’t present in the ethanol used to the make the sanitizer.

Read the FDA’s full press release for more information.

Read the FDA’s Q&A for consumers regarding hand sanitizer.

Limited waiver to permit operation of intermodal equipment with expired annual inspection decals

June 2, 2020

The FMCSA has granted a waiver to the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) from the requirements of 49 CFR 396.17(c). This waiver allows the operation of intermodal chassis with annual inspection decals (or similar) that show an expiration date of March 31, 2020, or later. With the COVID-19 crisis still ongoing, this waiver will help ensure that intermodal chassis remain available to transport critical goods and supplies to support recovery.

This wavier was granted on behalf of intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) and motor carriers operating intermodal chassis. According to the FMCSA’s official release, “IEPs may include ocean carriers, railroads, and equipment leasing companies.”

Effective date is June 01, 2020, and expires either on September 01, 2020, or if the White House revokes its emergency declaration regarding the public health emergency; whichever is sooner.

Read the FMCSA’s official release.

Officials emphasize need to continue cleaning and disinfection practices

June 2, 2020

As the country begins reopening in phases, so will workplaces. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to responsibly support efforts toward Opening up America Again. The two agencies recently released updated guidance to help families and workplace facility operators properly clean and disinfect spaces.

Access the updated guidance from the EPA.

The CDC in particular offers guidance for employers with high-risk workers, such as those who are over age 65 or have underlying health conditions. The agency’s guidance offers direction for:

  • scaling up operations
  • promoting healthy hygiene practices
  • stepping up cleaning, disinfection and ventilation
  • promoting and enabling social distancing
  • limiting travel and modifying commuting practices
  • monitoring workers for signs of illness
  • maintaining healthy operations

Read the CDC’s guidance.

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

June 1, 2020

2 new Interim Final Rules published regarding the PPP

May 26, 2020

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has published two new Interim Final Rules regarding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), both of which are now effective. These two Final Rules do not change the 8-week period during which the funds must be spent to qualify for loan forgiveness. Nor do they alter the requirement that at least 75% of the PPP funds on payroll costs to qualify for full loan forgiveness.

The Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness

  • Clarifies the requirements for loan forgiveness
  • Explains which payroll and nonpayroll costs are eligible
  • Shares how various scenarios affect the amount of the loan forgiveness for which a borrower qualifies
  • Provides guidance for PPP borrowers to prepare and submit loan forgiveness applications
  • Helps PPP lenders who’ll make the loan forgiveness decisions
  • Informs borrowers and lenders of the SBA’s loan application and loan forgiveness application process

Loan Review Procedures and Related Borrower and Lender Responsibilities

  • Outlines the SBA’s process for reviewing PPP loan applications and loan forgiveness applications
  • Explains the related responsibilities of borrowers and lenders
  • Covers procedural details
  • Provides information and timeframe for the appeal process

To learn more about the program in full and access all of the accompanying documentation, visit the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program website.

The CDC provides recommended social distancing practices for school buses

May 26, 2020

The CDC has recently released guidance for determining whether to open schools, including recommended safety practices for school buses. The agency’s guidance for school offices to make this decision includes considering if they’re prepared to be consistent with state and local orders, screen students for the virus, encourage distancing, and put more health and safety practices in place.

Among its complete set of recommendations, the CDC includes the following specifically for school buses.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces between uses as often as possible, but at least daily.
  • Develop a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection.
  • Drivers should follow the same practices the CDC recommends to bus transit operators.
  • They should also wear cloth masks and wash hands frequently.
  • Limit seating to one student per row in every other row of seats when possible.

The agency also recommends staggering arrival and drop-off times, as well as establishing procedures to limit contact between students and direct contact with parents. Read the CDC’s complete published guidance for reopening schools in full.

When to stop self-isolating per the CDC

May 26, 2020

Some people, including commercial motor vehicle drivers, have had to self-isolate because they either developed COVID-19 symptoms or tested positive for the virus. Big question: When is it safe to emerge? It depends. The CDC has recommendations, based on different environments and situations.

Think you had (or know you had) COVID-19, and you experienced symptoms. Three days without a fever, and your symptoms have improved, and it’s been 10 days since your first symptoms appeared.

Tested positive for COVID-19 but did not experience symptoms. 10 days since your test.

Have been around someone with COVID-19. Stay home for 14 days after you were exposed.

Visit the CDC’s webpage for more information about when to end self-isolation.

Always—and we mean always—contact your health care provider for expert advice and direction based on your specific situation. Protect your health and safety, and those around you, by speaking to your healthcare provider before ending self-isolation.

The Government of Canada expands eligibility for the CEBA

May 22, 2020

Soon, sole proprietors will be able to apply for the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program. Per the official release, “This extended measure will help small businesses protect the jobs that Canadians rely on.” And that the, “changes to the CEBA will allow more Canadian small businesses to access interest free loans that will help cover operating costs during a period when revenues have been reduced, due to the pandemic.”

The federal government has announced expanded criteria for eligibility to include more businesses that:

  • feature a sole proprietor who receives income direction from that business
  • are family-owned corporations that pay employees through dividends instead of payroll
  • rely on contractors

To qualify under the expanded eligibility criteria, applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 would need:

  • a business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • a Canada Revenue Agency business number
  • to have filed a 2018 or 2019 tax return
  • eligible non-deferrable expenses between $40,000 and $1.5 million

The launch date for applications under the expanded eligibility criteria is yet to be announced.

For more information and to access associated links, read the official government release.

CISA updates its Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

May 22, 2020

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is the nation's risk advisor. The agency has just updated its Guidance on the Essential Infrastructure Workforce, which “identifies workers who conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing operational functions, among others. It also includes workers who support crucial supply chains and enable functions for critical infrastructure.”

Learn more about the agency’s Guidance on Essential Infrastructure Workforce.

Read the CISA’s official memorandum for more information.

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.

Learn More

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.

Read Article

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