Drug testing is mandatory for all DOT agencies

Posted by alisonreid29 on November 24th, 2015

People have been using public transport more and more in order to save on fuel cost and also to reduce the amount of vehicular pollution. Government authorities have taken many steps to make the public transport system safe. One such system is that of drug testing in transportation industries. Department of transportation has set up some tests that are to be carried out frequently on all the employees that are appointed in safety sensitive function in any transport industry. A crucial factor is the consumption of drugs by the drivers that make them unsafe to drive vehicles. To check this FMCSA drug testing program was introduced.

The origin of drug testing in the transportation industry can be traced back to as early as the 1990s when the need for a transportation system which is free from drug and alcohol was recognized by the United States Congress. Consequently, in 1991, the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act was passed. The Act thereby made it mandatory for all agencies under the United States Department of Transportation to conduct periodic drug testing on employees. The tests are only applicable for those who work in safety sensitive operations. The FMCSA drug testing program covers the truck industry.

FMCSA is the abbreviation for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency laid down a set of rules and regulations regarding the FMCSA drug testing program to be conducted by all truck companies. They have exhaustive information published for stakeholders to understand the responsibilities and legal limits. All drivers who drive commercial trucks or are drivers of buses that need a CDL, i.e., commercial driving license are subject to this kind of drug testing. The rules cover the nature and frequency of the tests, the procedures to be followed and what substances that can and cannot be by the employees.

The agency has further clarified the duties and obligations for both the employers and employees of any DOT truck company regarding the FMCSA drug testing program. It is the responsibility of the employers to see to the fact that none of their employees violate the FMCSA and DOT regulations related to consumption of drug and alcohol. For this, they must conduct regular drug testing programs, at least quarterly to be precise. The tests must be conducted only by the legal and legitimate consortiums which strictly adhere to the rules laid down by the FMSCA and DOT.

Under the rules and regulations related to the FMCSA drug testing program, the employees of the truck driving company enjoy certain rights. To begin with, they must not be kept in the dark regarding the tests. Before the tests are conducted, the employers are bound to provide them with sufficient information and educational material, if needed about the program. The drug testing consortium can take up the entire procedure on behalf of the company. The employees must be fully enlightened about the procedure and substance of the tests. However, if anyone is found to be violating the rules, an employer is in complete liberty to remove that person.

Drug testing is very important for transportation agencies. All truck driving companies should conduct FMCSA drug testing program in reputed consortiums.

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