Legislation was recently introduced on Capitol Hill that, if passed, would allow trucking companies to use hair testing as a method of screening truck drivers for illegal drugs. Following current federal regulations, only urinalysis is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for mandatory pre-employment drug and alcohol exams of truck driver applicants. According to supporters of the legislation, the number of truck drivers who pass a pre-employment urine test but fail a subsequent hair test is alarmingly high.
The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (Alliance) seems to be on board with the proposed legislation. Gary Salisbury, a member of the Trucking Alliance board of Directors, recently said:
Passing this much needed legislation will give trucking companies the option of conducting either urinalysis or a hair test or both methods, and will also allow positive hair tests to be reported to the soon-to-be created national drug and alcohol clearinghouse that Congress adopted last year.
This clearinghouse database will be able to identify any person who has previously tested positive on a pre-employment drug exam required by the federal government before being employed as a truck driver. However, until this legislation is passed and hair testing is an approved method, no positive hair test results can be reported to the database. The legislation appears to be a step in the right direction, given that the rate of large trucks involved in fatal crashes is on the rise. Hopefully this legislation will be passed very soon. When that happens, it will help keep many drug users out of freight trucks and off our nation’s highways.
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