The Gas Shortage Caused A State of Emergency in North Carolina
How Are They Handling It?
Due to the ransomware cyber-attack on the Colonial Pipeline, the Governors of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Florida declared a state of emergency. The Colonial Pipeline supplies over 45% of the fuel to the east coast, causing a massive gasoline shortage in many States.
North Carolina’s Governor, Roy Cooper, declared a state of emergency on May 10, 2021. As of publishing this (May 14, 2021), the Colonial Pipeline is back online, but because of frantic buying, many gas stations are still out of gasoline.
To speed up the recovery process, North Carolina’s Executive Order 213 not only declared a state of emergency but also temporarily suspended certain regulations for fuel trucks and their drivers.
The Executive Order waives many safety regulations for truckers carrying gasoline. Including maximum hours a trucker can drive. Normally, a trucker in North Carolina can only drive 11 hours within a 14-hour window and must wait another 10 hours before driving again.
Another waived regulation is the size and weight regulations and penalties for vehicles supporting the emergency relief efforts to the state by transporting gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum. Not all size and weight regulations/penalties have gotten waived. To find out about the regulations, click here.
These waived rules will be in place for 30 days or until the end of the state of emergency, whatever is less.
The government placed these restrictions on truck drivers to limit crashes caused by tired drivers or oversized trucks. With these regulations temporarily waived, it leads to the question of liability if there is a crash involving a trucker.
Right now, it is not clear who the bulk of the liability will fall on. Will it be the truck driver? The trucking company? The government? Hopefully, we don’t have a situation like this play out, but it is always a good idea to think ahead.
Read our other blogs for updates on global business, law, and more!