Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has announced that a State of Emergency exists within the Bluegrass State, and is lifting trucking regulations regarding just that to provide aid to needy citizens.
The declaration cites a need due to:
- Severe thunderstorms
- Flash floods
- Damaging winds
As a direct result of the nasty weather, the governor is suspending some hours-of-service regulations and regulations about overweight/over-dimensional vehicles, provided that the commercial vehicles are either sending housing units or supplies directly related to the adverse weather conditions.
Presumably, the hours-of-service regulations have all the common stipulations attached. A driver who completes a delivery outside of standard hours of service should take a ten-hour break, and drivers who exclaim they are tired should also take a ten-hour break. These are not listed in the declaration but are common-sense safety tactics that we advise doing anyway.
The exemption regarding oversized hauling for manufactured housing is much more rigid in its writing than that of the suspension of the hours-of-service regulations. Commercial carriers need to apply for permits that, while presumably easier to obtain than normal, will expire at the end of the declaration. Plus, all commercial vehicles must follow designated routes to their destinations, presumably to minimize damage on roads and neighborhoods not designed to have large, heavy houses travel through them often.
Any driver operating under these extenuating circumstances must keep a copy of the Official Declaration in the vehicle’s cab and must follow all other traffic laws and regulations. Required relief from tornadoes does not grant you the ability to drive while intoxicated and on the wrong side of the highway, and will not work as a defense in court.
The Bottom Line
The State of Emergency ends on June 1st, earlier if the State of Emergency is deemed to be over, or maybe extended if there is a further need. As the nation enters the summer, it is possible it may also be extended due to fire season and other severe weather events correlated with the warmer months of the year. We will keep you posted if any changes worth noting arise from this event.