The Drug Free Commercial Truck Driver Act of 2015 (S.806 and H.R. 1467), introduced a few weeks ago, has the support of the The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (aka Trucking Alliance) and the American Trucking Association.
The bill allows the U.S. Department of Transportation to recognize hair testing as an alternative option to give companies greater flexibility when conducting drug and alcohol testing.
"This legislation will improve highway safety and protect the reputations of the safe and professional commercial drivers by removing those with a life style of drug use from behind the wheel of large trucks," said Greer Woodruff, senior vice president of corporate safety and security for J.B. Hunt Transport in Lowell, Arkansas.
Under current procedures in the commercial trucking industry, a urinalysis is the only accepted method of drug and alcohol testing. While some employers use more advanced hair testing for their own purposes, the federal government requires duplicative urinalysis testing.
A urinalysis is often less effective in detecting substance abuse, with only a two to three day window of detection, than hair testing, which provides a 60-90 day window.
“This legislation eliminates the duplicative drug-testing process and allows trucking companies to use the more effective option, without having to pay for two tests,” explained U.S. SenatorBoozman (R-AR).
The Senate legislation is also cosponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). Similar legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01).
“My bill’s only concern is improving the safety of our roads,” Crawford said. “Some drug users, when they know that a drug test is likely, are able to abstain for just a few days before the test and beat the system. This bill would catch a much larger percentage of those drivers and keep them off the roads. "