American Trucking Associations praised the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for finally issuing a congressionally mandated proposal to create a national clearinghouse of drug and alcohol test results for commercial drivers. 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.
"ATA has been a strong advocate for the creation of this process to help protect motorists since 1999," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "It is unfortunate that it took so long for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to act on this common sense safety solution, but we are pleased the agency has finally taken the first step toward creation of this clearinghouse."
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.
"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."
ATA was a strong and early advocate for the current mandatory drug and alcohol testing regulations before they were first made effective in 1995. Since then, ATA urged Congress in 1999 to require a study of the feasibility of such a clearinghouse. FMCSA issued its report in 2004, but only after an industry-supported 2012 Congressional mandate for the agency to create such a database was this proposal finally issued.
SOURCE American Trucking Associations
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