WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association and the International Dairy Foods Association filed a joint application on Dec. 18, requesting an exemption for the hours-of-service regulations for “drivers engaged in the delivery of baked goods and milk products during periods and in geographic areas reasonably anticipated to be impacted by an impending natural disaster or emergency situation.”

The request is for a five-year exemption for drivers delivering essential food staples to extend their driving hours to help communities prepare for anticipated disaster conditions.

The application claims the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent the proposed exemption.

The application now moves into a comment period, which is open for comment until Jan. 17, 2019.