ATA seeking guidelines regarding hair testing for drugs

ARLINGTON, VA – Chris Spear, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Trucking Associations, has submitted a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, Tom Price, calling on Washington to hastily provide guidelines and standards for the use of hair samples in mandatory drug testing of truck drivers.

The ATA, along with the industry, have been awaiting guidelines from the HHS. The HHS agency responsible for producing those standards, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration will be holding its Drug Testing Advisory Board meetings this week to consider hair testing, leaving the HHS well behind its congressional mandated deadline.

“Many trucking companies are using urinalysis to meet federal requirements, while also paying the additional cost to conduct hair testing,” Spear stated in his letter to the HHS. “We are frustrated that the previous administration failed to meet the statutory deadline and believe your leadership will finally see a resolution to this long-standing and important safety rule.”

The ATA believes based on experience, hair testing is more effective at keeping habitual drug users from getting behind the wheel as professional drivers, subsequently improving road safety.

“Making sure America’s truck drivers are safe and drug-free is among ATA’s highest priorities,” Spear said. “This commitment is why ATA led the charge for mandatory drug testing of commercial drivers, for the creation of a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol testing results and the use of hair testing.”

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