In a report released this week, the General Accounting Office revealed that many of the nation’s truck drivers continue to drive even after failing drug tests. From a Dallas Morning News story on this truck driving danger:
Fewer than half of the estimated 85,000 truck drivers who test positive in random drug tests each year are believed to complete the required treatment and follow-up testing to return to their jobs, the GAO said. The true number of truckers who fail drug tests and continue to drive could be much higher, said an investigator with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which commissioned the GAO study.
“It raises extraordinary concerns,” Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., chairman of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, said of the report. “We have a system of drug testing that is totally inadequate. You can easily beat the system.”
Really, the report’s title says it all: Motor Carrier Safety –Improvements To Drug Testing Programs Could Better Identify Illegal Drug Users And Keep Them Off The Road.
Trucking accidents are a particular concern to those of us in Texas and Austin. With NAFTA, the Texas highways continue to see more than their share of truckers. And with Interstate 35, a major NAFTA trucking route, running through the heart of downtown Austin, Austinites continue to bear more than their share of tractor-trailer accidents.