Propane fuel shortage is also a matter of safety for drivers
Caroline MacGregor February 5, 2014 | WGVU Extreme
winter weather this season has slowed propane deliveries to the Midwest, sending
the cost of the fuel skyrocketing.
Rick Snyder and other Midwestern governors are asking President Obama for
federal assistance to address the shortage. The governor has also extended
Michigan's heating fuel emergency for another week.
An executive order signed by Snyder last month is effective through February
11th. It allows temporary
suspension of the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations for drivers transporting
propane or heating oil in Michigan.
measure was adopted by the U.S Department of Transportation for commercial
vehicles transporting propane across state lines.
regulations limit the number of hours a driver is allowed to operate a
commercial vehicle. With recent weather conditions, time is wasted dealing with
poor road conditions.
these regulations drivers delivering propane across the country are able to
continue driving past the allowed number of hours per day and consecutive
driving days in order to hasten delivery to farmers and residents who rely on
propane for heat.
But what about
the safety of drivers? The regulations were originally put in place to prevent
fatigue-related traffic accidents for drivers working prolonged hours. Even
though the suspension of these regulations is temporary, drivers face more weather
related road hazards, and fatigue, with increased pressure to speed up delivery
of propane across the country in the coming weeks.
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