TEXAS, USA — To combat empty shelves at grocery stores, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is waiving some trucking regulations to help expedite delivery of resources around Texas.
"As the State of Texas works to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure that Texans have access to the goods and supplies they need," Abbott said in a news release Saturday. "Suspending these state trucking regulations will improve our ability to deliver the necessary supplies throughout the state so that grocers and retailers are able to continually stock their shelves.
As concerns for the coronavirus continue to spread, people are flooding grocery stores in southeast Texas and across the nation. Stores have been running out of toilet paper, cleaning supplies and bottled water.
"Pandemonium," Marc Blieden said as he spent the afternoon at the Kroger on Dowlen Rd. "Everybody is just grabbing what they can and going."
Popular stores like H-E-B, Kroger and Walmart have addressed the growing concerns of their customers.
H-E-B says employees are working "around-the-clock to keep our shelves stocked." They sent a tweet on Friday encouraging preparedness, not stockpiling.
"Please buy what you need & leave some for your neighbor behind you," the H-E-B tweet said.
Governor Abbott declared coronavirus a statewide public health disaster on Friday.
Texas currently has 39 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Abbott said. About 220 Texans have been tested for the virus, and 75 are currently being tested.
Release from Gov. Abbott:
Governor Abbott Waives Certain State Trucking Regulations To Expedite Delivery Of Resources Around Texas
AUSTIN - Governor Greg Abbott has announced that he is waiving certain regulations related to commercial trucking in the state of Texas. The suspensions will expedite commercial vehicle delivery of more supplies in each truckload as Texas works to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state.
These waivers were requested by and will be coordinated through the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and are part of the actions Governor Abbott is taking under the State of Disaster he declared yesterday.
"As the State of Texas works to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus, we are taking precautionary measures to ensure that Texans have access to the goods and supplies they need," said Governor Abbott. "Suspending these state trucking regulations will improve our ability to deliver the necessary supplies throughout the state so that grocers and retailers are able to continually stock their shelves. I want to remind Texans that stockpiling resources is neither necessary nor productive. The State of Texas is prepared and will continue to take action to support our communities."
Three sets of statutes are suspended, subject to federal law and DMV safety limitations:
- The oversize and overweight permitting requirements under Transportation Code, Chapters 621 through 623, as well as Title 43, Chapter 219 of the Texas Administrative Code, for all divisible and non-divisible vehicles and loads;
- The International Registration Plan (IRP) vehicle registration under Transportation Code § 502.091 and 43 Tex. Admin. Code § 217.56, as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the 48 contiguous states of the United States; and
The 72-hour and 144-hour temporary registration permits under Transportation Code § 502.094 and 43 Tex. Admin. Code § 217.40(b)(3), as long as the vehicle is registered in one of the states of the United States.