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Pryor, Boozman, Crawford Bill Will Strengthen Trucking Industry, Improve Highway Safety

Bipartisan Legislation Will Give Trucking Companies Flexibility to Invest and Expand

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman introduced bipartisan legislation to improve the safety of Arkansas’s roads and highways by eliminating a hurdle in the commercial trucking industry’s pre-employment drug screening process. Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) introduced a complementary bill, H.R. 3403, in the House of Representatives.

Under current procedures in the commercial trucking industry, urinalysis is the only accepted method of drug and alcohol testing. Unfortunately, urinalysis is often less effective in detecting substance abuse, with only a 2-3 day window of detection, than hair testing, which provides a 60-90 day window. For example, from March 2008-June 2012, Schneider National’s pre-employment drug testing data found 120 prospective drivers failed the urine test, while 1,400 applicants had drug-positive hair test results. This discrepancy is causing many trucking companies to take on additional costs by paying for both methods of testing. The Drug Free Commercial Trucking Act of 2013 would instruct the U.S. Department of Transportation to recognize hair testing as alternative option to give companies greater flexibility when conducting drug and alcohol testing.

“With millions of private-sector jobs and businesses relying on the trucking industry, I’m working every day to find new ideas to strengthen this economic powerhouse,” Pryor said. “By allowing companies to eliminate duplicative processes, this bill will ensure our businesses have the certainty they need to invest, expand, and create jobs while securing the safety of our roads.”

“Advanced uniform drug testing requirements for trucking companies will help cut costs, spur economic growth and improve safety on our roads,” Boozman said. “Hiring drivers who lead a drug-free lifestyle is good for the industry and other drivers who share the roads.  It makes sense to have the most accurate drug tests available and the ability to share those results among the industry.”

“This bill is a win-win situation for the trucking industry, law enforcement, and the safety of Arkansas families. By keeping drug addicted drivers from behind the wheel of rigs across the country, we can reduce liability costs while preventing accidents to keep our roads and highways safer. This bipartisan legislation is gaining momentum in the House of Representatives and I am proud to stand with our two Senators to work on this common-sense solution,” said Crawford.