Legislation introduced today would allow trucking companies to use clippings of a driver’s hair to test for drug use to meet federal requirements when testing drivers.
The Drug-Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015, introduced today in the Senate by Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and in the House by Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), would give fleets the option of using hair tests, as an alternative to traditional urine tests.
The American Trucking Associations (ATA) supports the proposed law.
“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 ATA says a number of fleets already voluntarily conduct hair tests, in addition to mandatory urine tests, to identify habitual drug users who may otherwise briefly abstain from use or otherwise attempt to “beat the test” to gain trucking employment.