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Two pyrotechnics companies have asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to grant them exemption from certain hours-of-service rules.
According to a document published in the Federal Register on Oct. 23, Illumination Fireworks Partners and ACE Pyro are requesting reprieve from certain stipulations of the 14-hour rule, which dictates that drivers may not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty after a period of 10 hours off duty.
Based in the Dallas area, Illumination Fireworks specializes in lasers, fireworks and pyrotechnics. ACE Pyro is a fireworks display company based in Manchester, Mich.
Specifically, the companies are asking that truck drivers be allowed to exclude off-duty and sleeper berth time from their calculation of their 14 work hours. These drivers would not be allowed to drive after accumulating 14 hours of on-duty time after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
The exemption would apply to 60 commercial motor vehicle drivers involved in staging fireworks shows.
If granted, the exemption would only be in effect from June 26-July 8 to coincide with Independence Day celebrations. The exemption would be in place during this window for the next five years.
The applicants cite financial considerations in their request for exemption, stating that strict compliance with the 14-hour rule would require more time and more drivers.
“The applicants state that they are seeking the HOS exemption because compliance with the 14-hour rule would impose economic hardship on cities, municipalities and themselves,” the Federal Register document states. “Complying with the existing regulation means that most shows would require two drivers, significantly increasing the cost of the fireworks display.”
The applicants note their drivers have maintained clean safety records. The applicants also state that drivers travel relatively short distances (no more than 150 miles) to transport fireworks in the days leading up to a celebratory extravaganza. Additionally, the drivers usually travel in the early morning when traffic is light.
FMCSA granted Illumination Fireworks and ACE Pyro a similar HOS exemption in 2014.
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