The American Trucking Associations Thursday urged Congress to help the trucking industry keep drug and alcohol abusers off the road by supporting efforts to enhance drug and alcohol testing for the nation's 3.4 million truck drivers.

Testifying on behalf of ATA before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Greer Woodruff, senior vice president of corporate safety and security for J.B. Hunt Transport Services, made five recommendations for improving drug and alcohol testing programs for commercial motor vehicle drivers.
"Trucking has worked diligently to eradicate drug and alcohol abuse from its work force. And we've made great strides in recent years," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "But now, trucking is looking to the government for additional help."
ATA urged Congress to authorize and fund a centralized clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol testing results of commercial drivers to ensure that motor carrier employers are aware of previous positive test results during the hiring process.
The association also asked Congress to encourage the Department of Transportation to implement an incentive-based random testing rate requirement and focus on motor carriers with above average positive test results.
Recommendations further included banning the manufacture, sale and distribution of products that help drivers evade drug tests and penalizing those who use them; directing the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the U.S. DOT to initiate a rulemaking that allows the testing of hair as an alternative to urine, and improving oversight of specimen collection facilities and practices.
While ATA and the trucking industry do not condone any level of drug abuse among the driver population, the percentage has remained around 2 percent since required testing began in 1995. According to government reports, drug abuse in the trucking industry, as measured by a percentage of positive test results, is less than half of that found in the general work force.