Quebec becomes latest jurisdiction to offer Covid-19 HOS relief

by Today's Trucking

MONTREAL, Que. – Quebec has followed the lead of the federal government and several other provinces, introducing hours of service relief for emergency loads of Covid-19 supplies.

The specific loads include food, sanitary and medical equipment, pharmaceutical products, products used to produce food, or a combination of these goods.

But the Societe de l’assurance automobile du Quebec (SAAQ), the province’s regulator, stresses that drivers must remain on the lookout for signs of fatigue, and ensure they only drive if they feel they can.

“The Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec counts on the usual collaboration of transport industry professionals to ensure the safety of all users of the road. Their work is of great importance, both daily and in these exceptional times,” it says in a release.

Rules for federally regulated carriers

The move comes in the wake of earlier guidance for federally regulated carriers, through the Essential Freight Transport Exemption, which offers further details.

The rules for federally regulated carriers still require drivers to maintain logs, and carriers using that exemption must follow a list of criteria such as notifying an hours of service director where they plan to use the exemption, identifying all the drivers and vehicles that will use it, and including a copy of the exemption in every vehicle. Drivers who are using the exemption will need to note that in the remarks section of a daily log.

Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan have already established similar rules.

The U.S. offered such relief first, introducing a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service (HOS) relief to interstate truck drivers moving emergency supplies in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

It’s the first time the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued such nationwide relief.


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  • Hours of service relief ? I call it the slave labour law. We dont care about truck drivers safety if it will save us some inconvenience.

  • And if these drivers, with this “relief” measure bring the virus home to their families because companies are not using due diligence with regard to driver safety, when their immune systems are compromised because they’re tired, will the companies bring relief to the families when one or more members end up in a COVID ward, alone, when families are left without a caregiver?
    Maybe it is time for our heroes to pull off the road – sit back for a couple of days and allow the consequences of a lack of drivers be felt across the nation.

  • @ Stephen

    Not every truckers day is driving from point A to B for 13hrs. Sometimes were out of the truck/resting while being loaded/unloaded, having mechanical issues ect or taking an afternoon shower/nap to avoid rush hour or bad road conditions. Being down for 10hrs a day plus the half hr pretrip that most of us dont do because we check our equipment multiple times during the day, 10.5hrs is a long waste of our time.

    Overdramatic over nothing. Its not a safety issue.