Saskatchewan to allow truckers delivering essential goods to drive longer hours
Premier says the temporarily relaxing of regulations aligns with other provinces and federal policy
Commercial truck drivers carrying essential supplies related to COVID-19 will be able to drive longer hours in Saskatchewan.
The provincial government is temporarily modifying hours-of-service regulations.
Drivers are normally required to take an eight-hour break after driving for 13 hours or if they have been on duty for 15 hours.
The new exemption says drivers who are delivering items meeting immediate needs of COVID-19 must get adequate rest when they determine they are tired.
Drivers are supposed to "monitor their own ability and level of alertness to prevent driving while impaired by fatigue."
It is recommended they take a 24-hour break after 14 continuous days of work.
Premier Scott Moe said the changes were done to mirror federal policy.
"We've done it A) to ensure that we can get those supplies into our communities and B) to ensure that, where we can, we are aligned across the nation."
Moe said it will help with the integration of the supply chain across North America.
Essential supplies include:
- Medical supplies and equipment related to testing, diagnosis and treatment.
- Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety and sanitation, such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
- Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centres or stores.
- Raw materials, such as paper, plastic or alcohol, required for the manufacture of medical supplies, sanitation items and safe distribution of groceries.
- Equipment, supplies and people to establish and manage temporary housing, quarantine and isolation facilities.
- People designated by federal, provincial/territorial or local authorities for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.
- People needed to provide other medical or emergency services.
Moe said the province is always concerned about safety on roads and that the regulations were only changed because of the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have done it for one reason, and one reason only, and that is to ensure that we can have the supply of our essential goods into our communities."