The Trucking Alliance is leading a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seeking to allow hair testing in lieu of a urinalysis to comply with pre-employment drug testing regulations for truck drivers.
Currently, the FMCSA recognizes only a urinalysis to meet this requirement.
The petition states that if FMCSA grants the exemption, drug users can more readily be identified, because transportation companies could share failed hair test results with other companies when they inquire about former drivers and applicants. Current federal regulations do not allow transportation companies to share hair test results with other businesses.
The Trucking Alliance, incorporated in the state of Arkansas as the Alliance for Driver Safety and Security, and its members Maverick Transportation, Knight Transportation, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, and Dupre’ Logistics submitted the petition along with two unaffiliated companies. All of those businesses use hair testing.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to “issue scientific and technical guidelines for hair testing as a method of detecting the use of a controlled substance” of truck driver applicants.
Health and Human Services is expected to request more time to develop its guidelines. After the department is finished with its guidelines, the FMCSA will have to go through the rulemaking process before a regulation establishing hair testing as an alternative to urine testing could be implemented.
The petition by the Trucking Alliance is trying to bypass this process.
“On this issue, the private sector is already far ahead of the public sector in utilizing the latest methods to detect drug users,” said Lane Kidd, managing director of the Trucking Alliance. “While we wait on HHS and FMCSA, we can possibly save lives with this exemption by keeping many hard drug users out of our trucks and off our highways.”