Heating oil, propane delivery drivers exempted from time limits during arctic blast

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CONCORD - With wind chills as cold as 50-below-zero predicted tonight, the New Hampshire Department of Safety on Thursday implemented an Emergency Declaration temporarily lifting restrictions on hours of service for motor carriers that deliver propane, home heating oil, gasoline, diesel fuel, groceries and medications. Utility crews are also exempt.

"Forecasters have indicated this weather is dangerous and potentially life-threatening, so the delivery of these supplies is critical," said Commissioner Robert L. Quinn. "This emergency exemption allows certain CDL drivers to work extended hours, if they're able and asked to do so, and ensures Granite Staters receive what they need to stay warm and safe during this stretch of frigid air."

In addition to the forecasted extreme wind chills, the current shortage of CDL drivers was also a contributing factor in the decision-making process that led up to the exemption.

Motor carriers that choose to operate under the exemption cannot require or allow a fatigued or ill driver to get behind the -wheel. Additionally, drivers for carriers that choose to operate under the Emergency Declaration must have a copy in their possession.

Other regulations specific to the use of controlled substances and alcohol, and size and weight requirements, remain in effect despite the declaration, which expires at midnight on Feb 12.

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