U.S. President Donald Trump has signed into law legislation that will allow for hair testing of transportation workers for opioids.
The move is aimed at helping trucking companies keep drivers affected by drugs off the roads with the bill passing both Houses of Congress with near unanimous bipartisan votes.
Proponents say it will see more accurate testing of transportation employees than urinalysis for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone.
They say the hair testing also offers a longer detection window, easier collection, and results that are harder to fake.
However, those against the law change were concerned it would increase circumstances in which drivers innocently using opioids, via a prescription for pain medication, could be unfairly treated as drug abusers.
Despite the concerns, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) welcomed the new laws.
“Our fleets need to depend on the most accurate, reliable and failsafe drug testing methods available today, and this legislation pushes the federal government to recognize those means of testing.”- Bill Sullivan, ATA’s executive vice president of advocacy.
The shift in policy in the U.S. comes just weeks after a report was released showing Australia is now second only to the U.S. for MDMA, cocaine, amphetamine and methylamphetamine use.
What are your thoughts on this? Should we follow the U.S. lead in Australia? Feel free to leave a comment below.
- Related: Linfox truck driver wins industry praise
- Related: Jump in truck driver fatalities in U.S. last year
- Related: Report says almost all transport workers fatigued
Stay up to date with the latest Truck Industry News at heavyvehicles.com.au.