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Should trucking companies be able to drug test using hair?

Nowadays, it is virtually impossible to travel Colorado’s roadways without encountering a commercial truck, but many motorists still try and do so as much as possible because of the inherent risks these big rigs pose for other motorists. In addition to the size and weight of semi-trucks, which can threaten smaller, lighter passenger vehicles, substance abuse is also prevalent among many truck drivers, and it can place you and everyone else on the road in serious danger.

Per, transportation companies that are members of the Trucking Alliance, an organization that seeks to promote safety in the trucking industry, are asking that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration make changes to its drug-testing regulations. More specifically, they are asking that the agency let trucking companies perform drug tests on prospective employees using hair follicles, rather than urine.

Why? Backers within the Trucking Alliance report that hair tests are more reliable than urine tests. They also noted that that they were able to identify prospective employees who were also drug users through performing hair tests, even when these workers were able to effectively pass urine drug screenings. Additionally, federal regulations currently ban companies from sharing the results of hair drug tests with one another, which means that drivers not hired by one firm because of drug test results can easily apply for a similar position with another company.

Given the catastrophic accidents that can occur when cars and trucks collide, safety advocates argue that there is no room for error when it comes to truck drivers abusing substances. Thus, in addition to seeking a regulation change that would allow for hair testing, backers are also looking to change the rule that prevents companies from sharing information about hair test results.

While this information about drug testing semi-truck drivers is informative, it should not replace legal advice.

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