Mega trucking carriers are one step closer in fulfilling a goal of requiring stricter drug testing for all truckers.
The recent passage the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, which was signed by President Trump on October 24, will allow organizations to use hair follicle testing as an acceptable alternative to urinalysis for drug testing.
Hair tests are believed to have a much longer detection period of up to 90 days for certain narcotics, versus 2 to 3 days for urine tests. They’re also significantly cheaper to administer.
For years, the Trucking Alliance, an industry organization comprised of some of the largest trucking companies like Knight-Swift Transportation, J.B. Hunt, Maverick Transporation, U.S. Express, and others, has been a strong advocate of hair follicle testing.
With the recent passage of the Opioid Crisis Response Act, the Trucking Alliance is stepping up their pressure to make follicle testing an industry-wide requirement, instead of just an option.
“The Trucking Alliance will actively encourage DOT to proceed with one [a bill requiring hair testing to replace urine testing] as soon as possible, however. Because our data shows that a urine exam is missing as many as 90% of all opioid and illegal drug abusers who are applying for work as a truck driver. That’s a danger to the public and a risk to motor carriers. The trucking industry has an opioid crisis and we must reform the system to make sure that opioid abusers are not operating large trucks on the nations highways,” said Lane Kidd, Managing Director of The Trucking Alliance.
The American Trucking Associations, who also supports the stricter hair follicle testing, has since issued a statement saying that it has “long advocated for, and worked closely with Senate Commerce Committee staff” to make hair testing drivers a requirement in the trucking industry.