July 6, 2022
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The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials recently helped the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Federal Highway Administration update, improve, and re-release an emergency declarations website for commercial trucking operators.

[Above photo by CVSA]

During an emergency, moving relief supplies efficiently to an affected area may require shippers to route through multiple jurisdictions. To facilitate speedy delivery of such supplies, jurisdictions may use emergency declarations to change on a temporary basis certain requirements for shippers and motor carriers.

Photo via CVSA

However, multiple sources of information about amendments, extensions, exemptions, executive orders, etc. – as well as changes to allowable vehicle weights issued during emergencies – can cause confusion among drivers, shippers, motor carriers, and state departments of transportation.

This revamped emergency declarations website seeks to eliminate that confusion by offering one easy-to-access, up-to-date public online repository that the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community and the motor carrier industry alike may reference at any time.

In addition to updated and detailed content, the emergency declarations website now also provides:

  • Information on changes to allowable weights through a standard set of pertinent information, which includes contact information for each state’s overweight permitting office.
  • An interactive map of declarations throughout Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.
  • The ability to subscribe to notices of new declarations.
  • Information on the issuer of the relief, the type of relief granted, and emergency declarations’ beginning and end dates.
  • Comprehensive exemption details, including all relevant information for vehicle permits for size, overweight restrictions on interstates, waivers for overweight restrictions on state roads, and marking and lighting relief.
  • Contact information for the jurisdiction’s issuer.

“When disasters strike – be it a hurricane, wildfire, or another catastrophe – emergency relief supplies sometimes must travel great distances and across multiple state lines,” noted Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director.

Photo by AASHTO

“This new CVSA emergency declarations portal serves as a critical national information resource to help vital supplies reach their destinations quickly and safely, without damaging infrastructure along the way,” he added.

“Providing necessary regulatory relief during emergencies is crucial to preventing loss of life and preserving critical transportation infrastructure,” explained CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney in a statement.

Collin Mooney. Photo by CVSA.

“CVSA’s emergency declarations website is a reliable online source for emergency information, resulting in improved movement of critical relief supplies during national, regional and local emergencies,” he said.

Patrick Zelinski, AASHTO’s program manager for operations, noted that the primary audience for this portal is threefold: The people responsible for uploading these declarations (mainly state DOTs as well as other state agencies), people who will need to access this information (drivers and motor carriers), and law enforcement personnel in charge of enforcing weight regulations.

“The intent of the CVSA emergency declarations website is to function as a ‘one-stop shop’ for all emergency declarations for changes to allowable weights,” he said.

“This should make things easier for the states by giving them one location to post their declarations, while making it easier for the trucking community by giving them one national location to find all active emergency declarations,” Zelinski pointed out. “This should also simplify the process for truck drivers and shipping companies, so they can locate pertinent weight information in one place instead of searching through multiple websites.”

CVSA noted it is hosting a webinar on June 24 about the enhanced emergency declarations website to review its new features.

editor@aashto.org

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