PMTA News

  • April 15, 2020 12:18 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)
    On April 15, 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) granted a temporary regulatory exemption regarding the expiration of certain Transportation Workers Identification Credentials (TWICs).  TSA’s action extends, for 180 days, the expiration date of TWICs that expired on or after March 1, 2020.  In granting this exemption, TSA listed a number of reasons why this action poses little to no risk to transportation security. 

     


  • April 10, 2020 4:00 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Due to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic affecting our state and nation, the Philadelphia/Delaware Valley Chapter has decided to postpone its annual golf outing.

    The event was originally scheduled for June 1 but will now be held on Monday, September 14.

    More details about the event are available here.

  • April 09, 2020 11:59 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hereby declares that a nationwide emergency continues to exist that warrants extension and expansion of Emergency Declaration No. 2020- 002 issued on March 13, 2020, and expanded on March 26, 2020, and continuing 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 May 15, 2020, and further expands the relief expressly to cover liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems.

    Emergency Declaration 2020-002 was issued following the declaration of nationwide emergency by the President pursuant to 49 U.S.C. § 5191(b) in response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the public health emergency declared by the Health and Human Services Secretary, and the immediate risk these outbreaks present to public health and welfare. Emergency Declaration 2020-002 is set to expire on April 12, 2020. Because emergency conditions have not abated, FMCSA is extending Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 and associated regulatory relief in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25.

    This extension of the Emergency Declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and persons, and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers engaged in the transport of essential supplies, equipment and persons.

    By execution of this extension of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002, 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 the FMCSRs, except as restricted herein.

    Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) incident to the immediate restoration of essential services (such as medical care) or essential supplies (such as food and fuel) related to COVID-19 outbreaks during the emergency.

    The extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002 provides regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for:

    (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;

    (2) 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;

    (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;

    (4) immediate precursor raw materials -- such as paper, plastic or alcohol -- that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3);

    (5) fuel;

    (6) liquefied gases to be used in refrigeration or cooling systems;

    (7) equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19;

    (8) persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for medical, isolation, or quarantine purposes; and

    (9) persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services, the supply of which may be affected by the COVID-19 response.

    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.1 Emergency Declaration Restrictions & Limitations By execution of this extension to Emergency Declaration 2020-002, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the Nationwide emergency are not granted emergency relief from, and must continue to comply with, the following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and conditions:

    1. 49 CFR § 392.2 related to the operation of a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with State laws and regulations, including compliance with applicable speed limits and other traffic restrictions.

    2. 49 CFR § 392.3 related to operation of a commercial motor vehicle while a driver's ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the motor vehicle.

    3. Motor carriers shall not require or allow fatigued drivers to operate a commercial motor vehicle. A driver who informs a carrier that he/she needs immediate rest shall be given at least ten consecutive hours before the driver is required to return to service.

    4. A motor carrier whose driver is involved in a crash while operating under this emergency declaration must report any recordable crash within 24 hours, by phone or in writing, to the FMCSA Division Office where the motor carrier is domiciled. The carrier must report the date, time, location, driver, vehicle identification, and brief description of the crash.

    5. Nothing in this Emergency Declaration shall be construed as an exemption from the controlled substance and alcohol uses and testing requirement (49 CFR Part 382), the commercial driver’s license requirements (49 CFR Part 383), the financial responsibility (insurance) requirements (49 CFR Part 387), the hazardous material regulations (49 CFR Parts 100-180), applicable size and weight requirements, or any other portion of the regulations not specifically exempted under 49 CFR § 390.23.

    6. Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the relief granted by this declaration until they have met the applicable conditions for its rescission and the order has been rescinded by FMCSA in writing. 1 This Declaration extension and other FMCSA documents related to the COVID-19 outbreaks are posted at fmcsa.dot.gov/COVID-19.

    7. Direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services that are not in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce. (49 CFR § 390.23(b)). Upon termination of direct assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, the motor carrier and driver are subject to the requirements of 49 CFR Parts 390 through 399, except that a driver may return empty to the motor carrier’s terminal or the driver’s normal work reporting location without complying with Parts 390 through 399. When a driver is moving from emergency relief efforts to normal operations a 10-hour break is required when the total time a driver operates conducting emergency relief efforts, or a combination of emergency relief and normal operations equals 14 hours. In accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25, this extension and expansion of Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until 11:59 P.M. (ET), May 15, 2020, or until the revocation of the Presidentially declared COVID-19 national emergency, whichever is sooner. 

  • April 07, 2020 2:54 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    SMARTDRIVE has announced the Everyday Heroes in Trucking awards to recognize and thank the drivers who are on the front lines, keeping our grocery shelves stocked and medical care facilities supplied. They do this every day, but this pandemic has offered the opportunity to really showcase how hard the hard the job is and how integral it is to our everyday life. Most of all, it is our way of saying thank you! We'll be awarding and highlighting drivers each week and want to make sure that the word is out.

    Please click the link below and fill out the attached form and submit it for any driver you would like to nominate. https://bit.ly/DriversRHeroes

     


  • April 07, 2020 2:31 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    CAMP HILL, Pa. -- The Safety Management Council's Truck Driving Championships Committee has decided to not hold the championships in 2020. The Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association is making the health of all our members a top priority and in light of that, and the cancellation of the National Truck Driving Championships, the decision was made.

    The 2020 event was scheduled for June 12-13 at the Kalahari Resort in Pocono Manor, Pa. Any participants that have already registered will be refunded. 

    PMTA will be continuing conversations with the Kalahari Resort and more updates about the 2021 TDCs will be made in the near future.

    Stay up to date by visiting www.pmta.org/news and following our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

  • April 06, 2020 9:41 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reopening indoor facilities at five additional rest areas statewide.

     

    PennDOT’s rest areas were temporarily closed statewide on March 17 in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19 to ensure that proper safety and sanitation protocols were in place. Twenty-eight select rest areas across Pennsylvania have since reopened.

     

    Additional cleaning and maintenance will be performed at all reopened locations. Tourism services are not available at this time.

     

    The following four locations will reopen today(Monday, April 6):

     

    • Interstate 79 eastbound in Washington County, 3.5 miles east of Exit 1;
    • Interstate 81 northbound in Franklin County, 1 mile north of the Maryland state line;
    • Interstate 81 southbound in Susquehanna County, .5 miles south of the New York state line;
    • Interstate 90 westbound in Erie County, .5 miles west of the New York state line;

     

    The following location will reopen tomorrow(Tuesday, April 7):

     

    • U.S. 15 southbound in Tioga County, 7 miles south of the New York state line;

     

    The below locations were previously reopened:

     

    • Interstate 79 northbound in Allegheny County, 8 miles north of Exit 45;
    • Interstate 79 northbound in Crawford County, 8 miles north of Exit 154;
    • Interstate 79 southbound in Crawford County, 3 miles south of Exit 166; 
    • Interstate 79 northbound in Greene County, 5 miles north of Exit 1;
    • Interstate 79 northbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles north of Exit 105;
    • Interstate 79 southbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles south of Exit 113
    • Interstate 79 northbound in Mercer County, 5 miles south of Exit 141;
    • Interstate 79 southbound in Mercer County, 6 miles north of Exit 130;
    • Interstate 80 eastbound in Centre County, 13 miles east of Exit 133;
    • Interstate 80 westbound in Centre County, .5 miles west of Exit 147;
    • Interstate 80 eastbound in Jefferson County, 1 mile east of Exit 86;
    • Interstate 80 westbound in Jefferson County, 10 miles west of Exit 97;
    • Interstate 80 eastbound in Luzerne County, 8.5 miles east of Exit 262;
    • Interstate 80 eastbound in Monroe County, 1 mile east of I-80/I-380;
    • Interstate 80 eastbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles east of Exit 215;
    • Interstate 80 westbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles west of Exit 224;
    • Interstate 80 eastbound in Venango County, .5 miles east of Exit 29;
    • Interstate 80 westbound in Venango County, 4 miles west of Exit 35; 
    • Interstate 81 northbound in Cumberland County, .5 miles north of Exit 37;
    • Interstate 81 southbound in Cumberland County, 5.5 miles south of Exit 44;
    • Interstate 81 northbound in Lackawanna County, .5 miles north of Exit 202;
    • Interstate 81 northbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles north of Exit 155;
    • Interstate 81 southbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles south of Exit 159;
    • Interstate 81 southbound in Susquehanna County, 4 miles south of Exit 211; 
    • Interstate 83 northbound in York County, 2.5 miles north of the Maryland state line;
    • Interstate 84 eastbound in Pike County, 6 miles east of Exit 20; 
    • Interstate 84 westbound in Pike County, 1 mile west of Exit 26; and
    • Interstate 90 eastbound in Erie County, 3 miles east of the Ohio state line.

     

    The department will continue to evaluate and will determine whether additional locations can be reopened.

     

    More COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visitwww.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

  • April 06, 2020 11:25 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    On March 23, 2020, the DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) provided guidance about the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents.  ODAPC is providing supplemental information specific to performing remote evaluations by Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) and the re-qualification timelines for collectors, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Screening Test Technicians (STT) and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), and SAPs.  This statement is effective while the Department of Health and Human Services determination that a public health emergency related to COVID-19 exists[1] is in effect or through June 30, 2020, whichever is sooner.

    SAP Assessments and Evaluations

    Under 49 CFR §§ 40. 291, 40.293, 40.301, the SAP must conduct a face-to-face assessment and evaluation of an employee who has violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations.  The Department has always maintained that the “face-to-face" assessment and evaluation must be done ‘in person’ and is essential to the SAP process.  ODAPC recognizes that conducting face-to-face assessments and evaluations during the COVID-19 public health emergency may not be possible or advisable for certain individuals. ODAPC would allow SAPs to conduct a remote face-to-face evaluation and assessment while this policy is in effect.

    The flexibility to conduct remote assessments and evaluations is voluntary, and SAPs may continue to conduct in-person face-to-face assessments and evaluations as appropriate.  We recommend that, when a SAP conducts assessments and evaluations remotely, the format of the assessment be documented in the final report for reference.

    We realize that performing evaluations remotely may not provide as much information to the SAP as a face-to-face evaluation would, but DOT believes remote evaluations are preferable to not performing the evaluations at all.  While we will not prescribe the exact manner in which the remote evaluations should be conducted, SAPs who choose to conduct initial assessments and evaluations and follow up evaluations remotely should consider the following parameters:

    1.    The technology you use should permit a real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction between you and the employee.

    2.    You should determine if the quality of the technology (e.g., speed of the internet connection, clarity of the display, application being used, etc.) is sufficient for you to gather all the visual (e.g., non-verbal physical cues) and audible information you would normally observe in an in-person face-to-face interaction.

    3.    You may only utilize the technology if your State-issued license authorizes you to do so and within the parameters of that authority.

    ODAPC will not consider an evaluation or assessment performed remotely as an act of serious non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect. 

    Re-qualification Timelines for Certain Service Agents

    Under 49 CFR §§ 40.33(e), 40.121(d), 40.213(e), and 40.281(d), collectors, MROs, STT/BATs, and SAPs are required to maintain their DOT required qualifications to continue to act as service agents in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.  Specifically, collectors and STT/BATs need to complete refresher training every five years, MROs need to complete requalification training every five years, and SAPs need to complete 12 professional development hours every three years.

    The Department realizes that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, these service agents may find it difficult to find the necessary resources (e.g., exam location or personnel to conduct mock collections, etc.) to meet their re-qualification requirements. If a service agent is unable to meet their re-qualification due date while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect, the Department will not consider it a non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent.  The Department is providing this flexibility for service agents that cannot meet their re-qualification requirements by their respective due dates due to restrictions imposed by Federal, State and local authorities, and health agencies related to the COVID-19 national emergency (e.g., facility closures, State or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments).  The Department will consider these service agents qualified per Part 40 to continue providing the Part 40 required services while this policy is in effect.

     

    ODAPC Guidance Document #: ODAPC GEN07

     

    [1]https://www.phe.gov/emergency/news/healthactions/phe/Pages/2019-nCoV.aspx

     

  • April 03, 2020 4:37 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    To better assist motor carriers, FMCSA has set up a new phone line for support with the FMCSA Portal. The Portal Registration Call Center’s hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am-8:00 pm, EDT.  FMCSA is continuing to work on streamlining support for this effort.

     

    FMCSA Portal Registration Call Center

    800-724-2811

     

    Clearinghouse Help Line

    844-955-0207

    Also available is the Clearinghouse Help form in the Contact Us page.

     

    Enforcement Resources

    For more information on how employers and other stakeholders are required to use the Clearinghouse, be sure to visit the Clearinghouse Enforcement Resources page. 


  • April 03, 2020 2:28 PM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)

    EXEMPTION 2020-13

    Pursuant to the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020, and 75 Pa. C. S. §6108, the waivers in this exemption apply to certain motor carriers engaged in operations necessary to respond to the disaster emergency declared by the Governor.

    The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation hereby issues the following exemption:

    TYPE OF OPERATION: Commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance in support of emergency relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks, including transportation to meet immediate needs for: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) 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; (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores; (4) immediate precursor raw materials-such as paper, plastic or alcohol-that are required and to be used for the manufacture of items in categories (1), (2) or (3); (5) fuel; and, (6) equipment and supplies necessary to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine, and isolation facilities related to COVID-19.

    Direct assistance does not include routine commercial deliveries including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of the above referenced goods and materials to obtain the benefits of this Exemption.

    EXTENT OF EXEMPTION: Requirement to comply with weight limitations and permitting for certain motor carriers on all roadways and bridges except for bridge restrictions noted in the special conditions below.

    EFFECTIVE DATE: April 3, 2020 1159 hours.
    TERMINATION DATE: June 2, 2020 2359 hours.

    SPECIAL CONDITIONS:

    1. The vehicle weight and permitting requirements of 67 Pa. Code, Chapter 179 (relating to Oversize and Overweight Loads and Vehicles) are hereby waived for motor carriers utilizing combination vehicles with divisible load limits equal to or less than 90,000 pounds that are providing direct assistance in transporting goods and materials necessary to respond to the COVID-19 virus disaster emergency.

    2. This Exemption does not apply to any bridge or roadway with a size or weight restriction posted in accordance with 67 Pa. Code, Chapters 189 (relating to Hauling in Excess of Posted Weight Limit), 191 (relating to Authorization to Use Bridges Posted Due to Condition of Bridge), and 193 (relating to Authorization to Use Highways Posted Due to Traffic Conditions).

    3. Structures spanning the Delaware River between the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey under the jurisdiction of the Delaware River Port Authority or the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission are not within the scope of this waiver; the terms and requirements for the crossing of those structures are as established by the respective authorities. Contact information for the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is 1-800-363-0049 and Delaware River Port Authority is 1-877-567-3772.

    4. Structures spanning the Delaware River between the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey under the jurisdiction of the Burlington County Bridge Commission are not within the scope of this waiver; the terms and requirements for the crossing of those structures are as established by the respective authority. Contact information for the Burlington County Bridge Commission is 1-856-829-1900.

    5. Drivers must comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s March 24, 2020, Expanded Emergency Declaration Under 49 CFR § 390.23, No. 2020-002, any future amendment to that Declaration, or any further Exemption or Order issue by the Governor or the Secretary as allowed by law.

    6. Nothing in this Exemption relieves compliance with all other applicable laws or regulations, unless otherwise waived or exempted by the governmental entity with jurisdiction to effect such an exemption or waiver. 

  • April 03, 2020 11:40 AM | Brandon Moree (Administrator)
    TSA is granting a temporary exemption from requirements in 49 CFR part 1572 regarding expiration of TSA security threat assessments (STAs) for Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) holders. 

    For the duration of this exemption, a State may grant an extension of up to 180 days for an HME that expired or would otherwise expire between March 1, 2020 and the end date of this exemption, even if the individual was unable to initiate or complete the required STA before the expiration date. If the state grants an extension, the individual with an expired HME must initiate the process of renewing his or her STA for an HME no later than 60 days before the end of the State granted extension.

    TSA may extend this exemption at a future date depending on the status of the COVID-19 crisis.

    Full Document 


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