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Message from the British Columbia Trucking Association

FOOD INDUSTRY CV19 NEWS UPDATE

Click here: An update on cross border compliance 

A message from The BC Trucking Association:

BCTA continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation very closely and remains in frequent contact with key government officials, including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, CBP, and CBSA.

FMCSA Declaration:

All government agencies continue to emphasis the importance of the movement of goods across the Canadian /American border. This was emphasized yesterday by announcement by the U.S. Department of Transportation who issued a declaration late in the day to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief to commercial vehicle drivers transporting emergency relief in response to the nationwide coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. FMCSA’s declaration provides for regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts intended to meet immediate needs for:

  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Supplies and equipment, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants, necessary for healthcare worker, patient and community safety, sanitation, and prevention of COVID-19 spread in communities. 
  • Food for emergency restocking of stores.
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary for establishment and management of temporary housing and quarantine facilities related to COVID-19.
  • Persons designated by Federal, State or local authorities for transport for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.
  • Personnel to provide medical or other emergency services. 

More information on FMSCA’s declaration can be found here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-issues-national-emergency-declaration-commercial-vehicles

BC Hours of Service Regulation :

We have engaged discussions with the BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure in support of a similar declaration being issued in BC as has been done in the United States.

Please note – While we anticipate provincial clarification in the coming days, such a declaration has not yet been made and is NOT in place today.  

Regulatory relief to emergency situations is provided for through BC’s regulations as MVAR 37.11(d) which covers the HOS exemption for pandemic/pestilence. We expect MoTI will be issuing a notice to industry to that effect shortly.  

Specifically, MVAR specifies that Part 3 - HOS, 37.11 does not apply to a driver who is driving “a commercial motor vehicle transporting passengers or goods for the purpose of providing relief in the case of an earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster.”

Similar to previous emergency relief, such as response to BC’s wildfires, implementation of this section of the regulation DOES NOT override section 37.12 of the MVAR in that a carrier must not allow a driver to drive if impaired by fatigue, or would be likely to jeopardize the safety or health of the public, the driver or employees of the carriers.” Please see section 37.12 below:

“MVAR 37.12  A carrier, shipper, consignee or other person must not request, require or allow a driver to drive and a driver must not drive if

(a)the driver's faculties are impaired by fatigue, illness or a mental or physical infirmity to the point that it is unsafe for the driver to drive,

(b)driving would jeopardize or be likely to jeopardize the safety or health of the public, the driver or the employees of the carrier,

(c)the driver is the subject of an out-of-service declaration, or

(d)the driver, in doing so, would not be in compliance with this Part.”

Exposure Control Measures:

In response to COVID-19, motor carriers should take the following measures:

  • Implement a company-wide, self-distancing policy for all employees requiring a minimum physical distance of 1-2 meters between individuals. This includes avoiding standard greetings that require physical contact such as shaking hands. 
  • Increase regularly scheduled cleaning with a disinfecting agent such as antimicrobial disposable wipes or a bleach solution, particularly inside each power unit and shared spaces.
  • Request that all drivers, as part of their post-trip inspection, wipe down all shared spaces with a disinfecting agent. This includes the steering wheel, dashboard, radio/telematics devices, door handles, gear shift, etc.  
  • Where feasible, provide drivers with a suitable power unit and sufficient supplies (e.g., food, water, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, etc.) to enable self-isolation during a trip.
  • Require drivers to thoroughly wash their hands or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer immediately after fueling or visiting a public establishment. 
  • Request that all drivers avoid any unnecessary public establishments or mass gatherings, unless approved by dispatch.
  • Request that all drivers, after returning to their home terminal from outside BC (e.g., the United States or elsewhere in Canada), to self-isolate on their days off.
  • Require drivers to self-declare to dispatch and to 811 or their health care practitioner, if they have come in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 and self-isolate if instructed by a health practitioner.
  • Require drivers, if they exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, dry cough, etc.)  to call 811 or their health practitioner, and self-isolate for up to 14 days pending test results and unless instructed otherwise by a health practitioner.      

As always, should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.   

Dave Earle
President & CEO | British Columbia Trucking Association
p 604-888-5319 ext 214 | m 604-787-1335 | tf 1-800-565-2282
e davee@bctrucking.com | www.bctrucking.com