Today's Trucking

Drug & Alcohol Testing Will Cull Truck Driver Pool

Posted: August 1, 2014 by Peter Carter

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The American driver pool is about to get shallower.

At the same time as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) was announcing that it is about to establish a driver drug-and-alcohol central database, an economist from the transportation consultancy FTR Associates told an economic outlook webinar that such a clearinghouse would “remove even more drivers from the roster.”

According to a statement from the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which has long supported the idea, “the database would capture both positive test results and refusals to test to help ensure that drivers who violate federal drug and alcohol testing regulations are removed from the roadway.”

“The clearinghouse will eventually help close a loophole that allows violators of the drug and alcohol regulations to escape the consequences of their actions. Currently, a hiring employer will only know of an applicant’s past test results if the driver provides the employer with an honest and complete employment history for verification purposes,” the ATA stated.

“No carrier wants to put an unsafe driver behind the wheel,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express,Charleston, S.C.

“This clearinghouse will be another tool we in the trucking industry can use to insure that only the safest, most qualified drivers move America’s freight.”

In Thursday’s economic outlook seminar, FTR economist Noel Perry of FTR said the American Trucking industry is nearing 100-percent capacity.

The FMCSA is publishing something called a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) later this week but they have not announced an implementation date. 

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