WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) today urged US Congress to fund a centralized clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol testing results for commercial drivers.
The goal is to ensure carriers are aware of previous positive test results during the hiring process. ATA president Bill Graves made the request this afternoon at the National Press Club in Washington. He insisted such a clearinghouse would improve the industrys ability to keep drug and alcohol abusers off the roads.
The carrier group has been calling on the US government to fund a clearinghouse for positive test results since the 1990s. Five states have developed their own databases to date.
ATA and its members believe that state-based reporting efforts are a good first step, but the optimal solution is a national clearinghouse, said Graves. The trucking industry is a national industry. State by state action will result in a patchwork quilt of differing reporting requirements by different people, with different commercial driver licensing actions or outcomes for truck drivers depending upon which state issued their license. A national solution is the optimal approach to addressing this issue.
The US has required drug and alcohol testing of commercial drivers since 1995. So far, results have shown that drug abuse in the trucking industry is less than half of that in the general US workforce. About 2-2.5% of truck drivers operating in the US have tested positive since driver testing began. The ATA says it would like to improve that number and that developing a national clearinghouse would be a good start.
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