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FMCSA Establishes Drug, Alcohol Clearinghouse for Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ruled that a nationwide clearinghouse must be established so that employers can check if truck and bus drivers have violated drug and alcohol testing programs. This clearinghouse is an effort to make our roads safer by reducing accidents involving commercial vehicles.
How the Clearinghouse Will Wor
The FMCSA (an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation) clearinghouse will be a repository that prospective and current employers can access to find out of a driver is in violation of federal alcohol and drug testing regulations. Employers will be required to check the clearinghouse once a year to see if any of their drivers have violated testing rules, and as a result are prohibited from operating a commercial truck or bus.
The rule will also require motor carriers, substance abuse professionals and others to report any drivers who either test positive for drugs and/or alcohol, refuse testing or participate in a drug and alcohol rehab program.
Federal regulations already require employers the hire commercial drivers to not only perform random drug and alcohol tests, but to also conduct drug screenings of prospective drivers. If someone tests positive, he or she must be prohibited from operating a commercial vehicle. The clearinghouse will be designed make the process of identifying drivers who violate drug and alcohol regulations more efficient.
The rule, according to the FMCSA, is scheduled to become effective in January 2020.
A Good Start
The FMCSA has taken an important first step toward helping to make it easier for employers to identify drivers who may put other motorists on the roads at risks.
But unfortunately, there are several different causes of truck and bus accidents. While impaired driving is definitely a contributing factor, many accidents occur due to the negligence of a truck or bus company, or the manufacturer of a part that malfunctions.