Aftermarket

ATA Asks Congress to Fund Drug, Alcohol Test Clearinghouse

August 02, 2007

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The American Trucking Associations is urging Congress to authorize and fund a centralized clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol testing results of commercial motor vehicle drivers to ensure that motor carrier employers are aware of previous positive test results
during the hiring process.
ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said such a clearinghouse will improve the industry's ability to keep alcohol and drug abusers off the road and improve safety on the nation's roadways.
ATA has lobbied for a national clearinghouse of positive test results since the 1990s. In 2004 the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reported to Congress on the merits of reporting positive test results to states. Currently, five states have instituted a drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
"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 Federal government required drug and alcohol testing of commercial truck drivers in 1995. As measured by a percentage of positive test results, drug abuse in the trucking industry is less than half of that found in the general work force. However, the percentage has remained between 2 percent and 2.5 percent of the truck driver population since required testing began. This figure is unacceptable to ATA and the trucking industry.
ATA's call for a national clearinghouse is part of a comprehensive trucking industry highway safety initiative that has produced a record low crash rate. Other ATA safety initiatives include a call for universal primary safety belt laws in the 50 states, greater enforcement of traffic laws against unsafe driving actions around large trucks and a limit on the maximum speed of large trucks to 68 miles per hour.
To receive an e-mail press kit on this subject, send requests to [email protected] The press kit contains FAQs, draft legislation, a federal report on the clearinghouse concept and fact sheets. The information also can be found on the ATA web site at www.truckline.com.

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