A new bill is being introduced that would allow the Department of Transportation to recognize hair testing as an acceptable method of drug screening.
Currently, while hair testing is allowed, the only federally accepted method that meets federal pre-employment and random drug testing standards is a urine test. This means that if companies want to be more thorough with their screening, they must spend money on both the basic urine test, and on the more advanced hair test.
Because of this added cost, most carriers don’t bother with hair testing. Some still do, hoping to weed out potential drivers who use illegal drugs, but stop for long enough to show up negative on a urine test. Hair testing is said to be a much more effective form of drug testing since it will result in a positive even if the drug use was a long time ago.
Changing the regulations to allow hair samples to count toward the mandatory testing would drastically reduce the cost of more in-depth screening, most likely making it much more common.
The bill is receiving support from the American Trucking Association, the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, and many individual commercial carriers.
“This legislation will improve highway safety and protect the reputations of the safe and professional commercial drivers by removing those with a life style of drug use from behind the wheel of large trucks,” said Greer Woodruff, senior vice president of corporate safety and security for J.B. Hunt said to Fleetowner.