Washington, D.C. — Earlier today, Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01) introduced H.R. 1467, The Drug Free Commercial Driver Act of 2015. Original Cosponsors included Steve Womack (AR-03), French Hill (AR-02), Bruce Westerman (AR-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Reid Ribble (WI-08), Daniel Lipinksi (IL-03), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC).
In an attempt to improve safety and reduce crashes, a number of trucking companies nationwide have begun drug testing their current and potential drivers through hair samples rather than urine samples. There is an important reason for this: hair tests can detect drug use up to 90 days, while urine tests only catch drug use in the past 2-3 days. This makes it much harder for drug users to dodge the law, as current results show. For example, from 2006-2014, J.B. Hunt Transport’s drug tests found that while only 110 driver applicants failed the urine test, 3,845 applicants failed the hair test.
Despite the obvious data that prove hair testing’s effectiveness, urinalysis is the only current form of drug testing approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) mandatory tests. H.R. 1467 would allow the DOT to recognize hair testing. This simple change would catch more habitual drug users, and would help prevent those users from simply switching companies once they failed a hair test, as the results would go into a national drug testing clearinghouse soon to be shared by all trucking companies. Recognizing hair testing also keeps companies from having to perform both kinds of tests.
“My bill’s only concern is improving the safety of our roads,” Congressman Crawford said. “Some drug users, when they know that a drug test is likely, are able to abstain for just a few days before the test and beat the system. This bill would catch a much larger percentage of those drivers and keep them off the roads. As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I’m always looking for ways to improve roadway safety, and this bill helps tackle that problem.”
Senator John Boozman also introduced the same legislation in the Senate earlier today.
“Preventing drug-users from operating commercial trucks will improve safety on our roads and enhance industry standards,” Boozman said. “This legislation eliminates the duplicative drug-testing process and allows trucking companies to use the more effective option, without having to pay for two tests.”