As a result of President George W. Bush's declaration of a national emergency in the wake of today's terrorist attacks, the regional emergencies exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) has been triggered. This means that FMCSR, including drivers hours of service, do not apply to "any motor carrier or driver operating a commercial motor vehicle to provide emergency relief during an emergency."

The exemption may not exceed the duration of the carrier's or driver's direct assistance in providing emergency relief, or 30 days from the date of the initial declaration of emergency, whichever is less.

Interim American Trucking Assns. (ATA) president & CEO William J. Canary asked ATA members to carriers monitor state and local traffic reports for further information in wake of the terrorist attacks.

"This is a tragedy that has touched each of us as never before,” Canary said. “Now is the time for our nation to come together, and the entire trucking industry stands with President Bush in our commitment to ensure that America continues to move forward during the trying days ahead."

Canary said four ATA staff members were in New York City when the attack occurred, including two who were at the Marriott World Trade Center when the first plane struck the building. Canary said all four members were safe.

ATA said numerous federal and state highways along the East Coast have been shut down as a result of the terrorist attacks. All streets in Manhattan were closed after the attack on the World Trade Center.

Heavy traffic gripped the Washington area today due to the evacuation of all federal buildings. Interstate 395 is open to southbound traffic only and the Washington Post is reporting heavy congestion on the Capital Beltway and Route 50 in Virginia.