Trucking

Truck driver warns federal regulators about drug test bottlenecks

According to the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, a shortage of available drug and alcohol testing clinics, personnel and equipment could unfairly ban truck drivers off the road.

of letter OOIDA president and CEO Todd Spencer, who was sent to the Federal Automobile Carrier Safety Administration on Wednesday, said the turmoil affecting FMCSA’s test system poses a “significant challenge” for drivers.

Drivers must submit to a random test in order to continue to comply with federal drug and alcohol regulations. However, “our association is becoming increasingly difficult to find a facility to schedule and complete the tests required for its members,” Spencer wrote to FMCSA administrator Mirajocy. rice field.

“Currently, drivers are reporting to facilities that are short of equipment, such as sample cups for drug testing, due to a significant shortage of plastic. In other cases, the facility is qualified to manage tests. I heard from the test facility that these confusions are due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Spencer explained that the driver should be notified of the test as soon as it is notified to the test site. However, if the facility is unable to complete the tests due to problems at the collection site, it cannot simply leave the site if the facility is unable to complete the required tests. “This is because leaving the site can constitute a denial. This is the same result as a positive test. As a result, the truck driver loses the ability to drive.”

FMCSA acknowledges the conflict between the required random drug tests and the confusion caused by the pandemic.Last year, the agency Discretionary decision notice Gives the carrier some leeway if it fails to comply with the specific test requirements caused by the COVID-19 emergency.

OOIDA did not immediately respond to comments about the extent to which members were disqualified from driving, but issued special guidelines to FMCSA or provided temporary relief to prevent problems from occurring. I hope that. “FMCSA also needs to clarify the options available to drivers when they encounter a facility that cannot complete the test,” Spencer said.

“In addition, FMCSA needs to ensure that all DOT staff responsible for managing drug and alcohol testing programs are aware of these issues and are aware of them when reported. At a minimum, FMCSA will be aware of these issues. We need to reduce the potential confusion that drivers may face by improving communication about their complications. “

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https://www.freightwaves.com/news/truckers-warn-federal-regulators-of-drug-testing-bottlenecks Truck driver warns federal regulators about drug test bottlenecks

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