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US trucking industry wants hair testing for drugs approved by DOT

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The US trucking industry is calling on Congress to approve bipartisan legislation that would allow the industry to perform drug tests using hair testing.

“ATA is committed to improving highway safety, including doing all we can to prevent individuals who use drugs or alcohol from driving trucks,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. “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’s advocacy has resulted in a steady decline in the small percentage of drivers who use drugs, and hair testing is the next logical step.”

The Drug-Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015, introduced today in the Senate and in the House would give fleets the option of using hair tests, as an alternative to traditional urine tests, to meet federal requirements.

“Leading employers in a variety of industries around the world have recognized that hair testing is a superior method to detect drug use,” said Dean Newell, vice president of safety and driver training, Maverick USA, Little Rock, Ark. “Hair tests are difficult to evade or subvert and provide a better window into an applicant’s potential history of drug use.”

The DOT currently does not accept hair testing as a meeting federal testing requirements, though some fleets conduct testing in this way voluntarily in addition to other approved methods.

“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,” said Graves.

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3 Comments » for US trucking industry wants hair testing for drugs approved by DOT
  1. Lee says:

    Although I do NOT condone drunk driving, or drug usage and the operation of vehicles , I think I would like to say yes to this testing. ….. JUST AS SOON , as everyone in Washington and for that matter Ottawa submit to the same testing. A driver on public roadways that is under an influence is a dangerous thing no doubt…just about as dangerous as some of our decision makers and lawmakers are. I’d love to see the failure and positive result rate posted if those that made these rules were subjected to the same testing.

  2. Lee says:

    Hmmmmm. I just have to add, ….so if you’re bald you’re exempt ?!!


  3. Daryl says:

    “The hair follicle at the base of human hairs contains cellular material rich in DNA. In order to be used for DNA analysis, the hair must have been pulled from the body — hairs that have been broken off do not contain DNA.”

    This is what would scare me about this hair sample thing. Urine on the other hand is considered a poor provider of DNA.

    Meanwhile “Urine is not considered an ideal source of DNA due to the low concentration of nucleated cells present in
    human urine. The nucleated cells found in urine are typically white blood cells and epithelial cells. There
    are large differences between the amount of epithelial cells present in male and female urine.”

    Just a thought.

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