Gov. Bev Perdue has temporarily suspended federal rules that limit how long truck drivers can be behind the wheel.
Perdue signed an executive order declaring an emergency and suspending certain rules to ensure that drivers can deliver essential fuels and oils used for heating. Federal regulations limit how long commercial drivers can drive without rest.
"I want to ensure that adequate supplies of home heating and vehicle fuels are available to our citizens during this extended cold snap," Perdue said in a news release. "Some areas of our mountains got more than 20 inches of snow recently and extremely cold temperatures have persisted statewide."
The order only applies to drivers transporting essential fuels. The Highway Patrol will enforce the order and drivers must produce documentation proving they are delivering the fuels.
Update: Perdue spokesman Tim Crowley said companies that deliver heating fuels are behind on their shipments because of prolonged icy conditions in the western part of the state. The executive order is intended to ensure residents and businesses have enough fuel to deal with the cold temperatures, he said.
executive order 43.pdf