Alberta takes steps to ease regulatory burden on truck drivers during Covid-19 response

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EDMONTON, Alta. – Truck drivers in Alberta will be able to work for longer hours, be exempt from road bans and some municipal bylaws, and have to apply for fewer overweight permits to assist their effort to supply essential Covid-19 relief items across the province.

The Alberta government announced yesterday that the temporary measures would help ease regulations on commercial truck drivers, as well as provincially-regulated railways.

“These temporary changes are necessary to ensure the critical movement of essential supplies as part of the Covid-19 response,” said Minister of Transportation Ric McIver. “It is important that we keep the supply chain open and moving, so that Albertans can access the supplies they need, including groceries, medical supplies, and fuel, during the pandemic.”

The four regulatory modifications enable truck and railway operators to work for longer periods of time, provided all safety conditions are met; apply for fewer municipal and provincial overweight permits by increasing the limits on weight of loads some vehicles can carry; be exempt from road bans; and be exempt from municipal bylaws that restrict the hours they operate and park.

Additional regulations are also being modified to allow Albertans to practise physical distancing, which includes the following:

• Albertans and businesses will have until 30 days after the public health emergency ends to file appeals to the Alberta Transportation Safety Board and 30 days after the ministerial order ends to file judicial reviews of the board’s decisions;
• The expiry dates of vehicle inspection certificates and decals will be extended to May 15 for those certificates set to expire between March 17 and May 15;
• Government is extending the timeline for most drivers who require a medical evaluation to provide their completed medical form when applying for or renewing their licence.

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