ATA Drives Congress To Get On Board With Hair Drug Test Lawby Jana Ritter - Published: 3/20/2015
On Thursday the American Trucking Associations appeared in Washington and made their position on “drugged driving” very clear, urging congress to make hair drug testing an option under federal law. More specifically, they asked lawmakers to support bipartisan legislation that would allow trucking companies to use hair testing as the most effective tool to meet federal requirements in preventing drug users from driving commercial trucks.
January 05, 2018 - Trucker Faces 20 Years After Pleading Guilty To Smuggling Alien Found Dead In Locked Toolbox
January 02, 2018 - Police Identify 2 Oregon Truck Drivers Killed In Fiery Head-On Crash
December 27, 2017 - Iowa First Of Eight States To Debut New Truck Parking Information System
“ATA is committed to improving highway safety, including doing all we can to prevent individuals who use drugs or alcohol from driving trucks. ATA was an early advocate of mandatory drug and alcohol testing of drivers before it was required, and has since promoted improvements such as hair testing and the creation of a national test results clearinghouse,” ATA President Bill Graves said in a statement. Graves also said that the ATA’s advocacy has already been resulting in a steady decline of the small percentage of drivers who use drugs and that hair testing is the next logical step in eliminating the problem.
On Thursday, the Drug-Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015 was introduced in the Senate by a number of Senators that include four democrats and two republicans. Should this law be passed, it will give trucking employers the option of using hair tests in addition to the current option of traditional urine tests, to meet federal drug testing requirements. Already there are a number of fleets conducting hair tests as well as the mandatory urine tests to better identify habitual drug users who often briefly abstain from use or find other ways of “beating the urine test” in order to get hired. “Leading employers in a variety of industries around the world have recognized that hair testing is a very effective method to detect drug use. Hair tests are difficult to evade or subvert and provide a better window into an applicant’s potential history of drug use,” explains Dean Newell, Vice President of Safety and Driver Training for Maverick USA.
Back In 2008, the Government Accountability Office had brought attention to these very obvious limitations in the DOT’s current urine drug testing program. But until the DOT accepts hair testing as an option for meeting federal testing requirements, many trucking companies don’t choose the option because of added costs of hiring private hair testing companies, in addition to the required DOT urine-based tests.
“Though the trucking industry’s positive testing rate is remarkably low, Congress should provide a means for fleets, as part of the DOT testing regime, to further identify and eliminate from the industry those who don’t share the industry’s commitment to highway safety,” Graves added.
As a truck driver, how do you feel about hair drug tests becoming an industry standard?