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ATA Pulling for Hair-Testing Standards

March 21, 2017, by David Cullen

Image: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Image: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The American Trucking Associations is continuing its push to allow hair-testing to be used in lieu of urinalysis to detect drug use by CDL driver applicants.

In a March 20 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear called for HHS to quickly release guidelines and standards for the use of hair samples in mandatory drug testing of truck drivers.

ATA pointed out in a statement that HHS has yet to issue the necessary standards that would allow those tests to be implemented. It also noted that this week ,the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (an HHS agency) will hold Drug Testing Advisory Board meetings to consider hair-testing, “putting HHS well behind its congressionally mandated deadline.”

“Many trucking companies are using urinalysis to meet federal requirements, while also paying the additional cost to conduct hair testing,” Spear said in the letter. “We are frustrated that the previous administration failed to meet the statutory deadline and believe your leadership will finally see a resolution to this long-standing and important safety rule.”

According to ATA, the association and many of its member carriers contend that, based on experience, "hair-testing is more effective at preventing habitual drug users from obtaining jobs as truck drivers, thus improving highway safety."

“Making sure America’s truck drivers are safe and drug-free is among ATA’s highest priorities,” Spear said. “This commitment is why ATA led the charge for mandatory drug-testing of commercial drivers, for the creation of a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol testing results, and the use of hair-testing.”

Spear’s letter comes a month after the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (a.k.a. the Trucking Alliance)  submitted a set of detailed comments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that strongly support a petition calling for motor carriers to be exempt from having to use urinalysis to test for drug use by CDL driver applicants.

In January, David Heller, vice president of government affairs for the Truckload Carriers Association, told HDT that once HHSvets its guidelines to incorporate hair testing as an 'and/or option' for its drug testing protocols, carriers can use that option to better define the drug history of a potential driver.”

Related: Trucking Alliance Pulls Hard for Hair-Testing


  1. 1. danny smith [ March 22, 2017 @ 06:32AM ]

    there's going to be a lot of bald truck drivers.

  2. 2. jc [ March 24, 2017 @ 07:20PM ]

    Great, since the ATA can't get the government to put speed limiters on trucks this is their new SS tactics? Next they will ask the government to make it mandatory you work for the big trucking companies they represent and also submit DNA and blood samples so they can clone you so they can get more slave labor.

  3. 3. Mary Hernandez [ March 27, 2017 @ 02:47PM ]

    Safety is an issue, but not just about truck drivers alone. We are on this road with more than a grip of truckers."Other drivers". Are careless, impatient and reckless. Some go out of there way to subject us, truckers to ...randomly cutting us off, not allowing us to make lane changes or to merge into another lane safely, to effectively drive without fear of the possibility to have an accident.or worse, loss of life (our lives). .that in itself tells me how dangerous our roads are. I almost get a feeling that , their a bunch of cockroaches on a feeding frenzy. I'm sure a lot has to do with the public ignorance . As to what it takes to drive safe in our trucks. Stopping distance alone. How safe is it when traffic is ahead of you. You know how much space you need to slow your truck down but now you have so many cars aggressively cutting in front of may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision. The public have No concept what it takes for truckers to be safe. No matter what. We are all in this together. And to educate all other drivers would be an asset.all the way talk about Safety! Theirs and ours. . Thank you


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