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Truck drivers & illicit drugs

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  • Truck drivers & illicit drugs

    This sounds a little far reaching, but could this be true ? Not mentioned is the alcohol issue and driving impaired which I know happens on a regular basis. There is the full video of the hearing in this link.

    Group tells Congress thousands of truckers are ‘illicit drug users’ & recommends 300,000 driver purge
    During a major meeting between trucking industry stakeholders and Congress today, a group comprised of multiple mega-carriers told lawmakers that they have evidence that thousands of truck drivers are “manipulating” drug testing protocols and should be removed from the nation’s highways.
    On Wednesday, June 12, numerous trucking industry groups met with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for a hearing called “Under Pressure: The State of Trucking in America.” Groups like the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) were in attendance at the hearing.
    One of these groups, the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (more commonly known as the Trucking Alliance) told lawmakers that they believe that “thousands of commercial truck drivers are illicit drug users” and that they have the drug testing data to back up their claims.
    Based on the results of their findings, the Trucking Alliance recommended that more than 300,000 truck drivers be purged from the industry: “This survey can project as many as 301,000 commercial drivers would fail or refuse a hair test. These illicit drug users must be identified and taken out of commercial trucks and off the nation’s highways. The trucking industry has no greater safety issue, than to aggressively address illegal drug use among commercial truck drivers.”

  • #2
    Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

    Placing this article here. It involves a driver with prior drug convictions who probably shouldn't have been driving. The picture also includes an ABF truck involved. Plus 4 deaths all because a driver should have never been hired, or allowed to drive a commercial vehicle. Then people wonder why the lawsuits are rendered with astronomical payouts.

    Update: Truck driver involved in fatal accident that killed 4 juveniles had previous drug convictions
    The truck driver who was arrested for a fatal accident that killed 2 children and 2 teens had a history of drug convictions.
    According to WDTN News in Ohio, the driver, Cory Withrow, has two previous convictions. In 2016, Withrow was convicted of heroin possession and in 2015, he was convicted of reckless driving and drug paraphernalia.
    The Indiana Truck Motor Association, said in a Facebook post, “Cory should have never been behind the wheel of a semi, but we was, and he made terrible and reckless decisions that will impact these families forever.”
    At the time of the crash, Withrow was allegedly driving for Barnets Inc., the news station reports. The company is based out of Camden, Ohio.
    According to Safer, the company has 39 trucks.
    CDLLife reached out to Barnets for comment. The company did confirm that Withrow was their driver.


    • #3
      Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

      An update to post #2.
      Seems the trucking company knew of the drivers past criminal convictions and drug use, yet allowed this man to drive, and kill 4 people.

      Exclusive: Owner knew drug history of trucker charged in deadly I-70 crash
      The owner of a Camden, Ohio, trucking company told FreightWaves that prior to hiring a truck driver who was involved in a recent deadly crash, he was aware of the driver’s extensive drug convictions, but he says he made sure to “observe him” before he headed out with a load.
      Withrow was hired in 2019, according to Gregg, less than four months after court filings show he received three years of probation for aggravated possession of drugs in Preble County, Ohio. Late Wednesday, Preble County indicated it would hold a hearing July 21 on having Withrow’s probation revoked.
      He had been previously sentenced to three years of probation and completed a drug and alcohol diversion program in September 2016 for heroin possession and breaking and entering and burglary in the same county.
      In Montgomery County, Ohio, Withrow completed a drug treatment program in lieu of a conviction program for possession of heroin in 2013.
      Barnets, which has 39 power units and the same number of drivers, has been in business since June 1980 and hauls general freight and paper products, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) SAFER system.
      Prior to the crash, Barnets’ trucks had been inspected 28 times and one truck was placed out of service in a 24-month period, resulting in a nearly 3.6% out-of-service rate. This is lower than the industry’s national average of around 21%, according to FMCSA data.
      Its drivers were inspected 60 times and seven were placed out of service for nearly 12%, which is more than double the national average out-of-service rate of around 5.5%. Barnets trucks were involved in three injury crashes and three towaways over the same 24-month period.


      • #4
        Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

        From what I was told today the truck rammed into the car at 72 mph according to the trucks gps. Also was told that the ABF truck was at 19 mph but when the impact happened the gps supposedly showed it jumped to 29 mph. As always everyone is innocent until proven guilty but it’s an all around sad situation. May all those young people who so innocently lost their lives may they all Rest In Peace.
        Last edited by tiredseat; 07-16-2020, 08:48 PM.


        • #5
          Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

          I just posted a story about hair testing for drugs, which could be implemented soon in the FMCSA thread.
          This story talks about cheating, or evading the current urinalysis tests.

          Drug-test cheating by drivers could renew calls for hair testing
          New federal data reveals that drivers may be attempting to cheat urinalysis tests for drugs at a relatively high rate — and that could lead to a renewed push for motor carrier hair-testing requirements, according to a trucking regulations expert.
          The latest monthly statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse show that 13% of drug-testing violations collected by the clearinghouse during the first half of the year were classified as “refusals” during pre-employment screening.

          “Considering that a refusal, in the pre-employment context, can really only occur after the driver has been handed a urine collection cup, this number may be a good proxy for how often drivers attempt to defeat the urinalysis,” David Osiecki, president and CEO of Scopelitis Transportation Consulting, told FreightWaves. “This number, if it remains high, could accelerate calls for [U.S. Department of Transportation] approval of other testing methods like hair and oral fluid testing. It’s hard to cheat saliva and hair tests.”
          The data also shows a refusal rate of 16% during random drug tests of current employees and a refusal rate of 14% for all violations. The rates are slightly less than comparative data generated by an industry survey conducted by FMCSA in 2018, which showed a drug test refusal rate during pre-employment screening of 18%.


          • #6
            Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

            This story talks about the delay to implement hair follicle testing for drugs.

            Truckers frustrated with hair-test guideline delays
            A five-year delay of a rulemaking that would give trucking companies the option to use a hair test instead of urinalysis to screen drivers for drugs is preventing significant safety improvements, according to major industry players.
            The benefits of hair testing within the trucking industry was a common theme among several panel discussions at a truck safety summit held by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today.
            Representatives from truckload operators Werner Enterprises (NASDAQ: WERN), Schneider National (NYSE: SNDR), Knight-Swift (NYSE: KNX), and Maverick Transportation provided quantitative evidence of how hair-testing programs they use alongside mandatory urinalysis is keeping hundreds of habitual drug users from filling seats in their company’s cabs.
            But American Trucking Associations (ATA) President Chris Spear contended that rolling out hair testing industry-wide won’t happen until the Trump Administration corrects procedural issues.
            Recent data compiled by the FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse revealed that drivers may be attempting to cheat urinalysis tests for drugs at a relatively high rate, which could lead to a renewed push for motor carrier hair-testing requirements.
            After HHS issues a rulemaking allowing hair testing as an option to urinalysis, it would then be up to FMCSA to adopt rules specifically aimed at motor carriers.
            “Nobody wants people using drugs on the highway, but unfortunately a drug can last up to six months” in someone’s system, commented Lewie Pugh, vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. “So is the problem six months ago or now? That’s why urine is the better way to go.”


            • #7
              Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

              Like I mentioned in post #1. They aren't talking about alcohol, just drugs. But booze is a bigger problem then many think.
              Here are two recent examples.

              Back-to-back incidents lead to DUI arrest of truck driver
              A truck driver was taken into custody over the weekend after striking a power pole and flipping his truck in two separate DUI incidents.

              Sheriff shares scary dash cam of semi swerving before impaired driving arrest
              A Michigan Sheriff’s Office shared dash cam video captured on Monday shortly before the truck driver was arrested.
              The driver exhibited signs of impairment and was eventually arrested.


              • #8
                Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

                Check out the pictures of the stuff the Georgia State Police confiscated from a CMV driver that was stopped just for a seat belt violation.
                This is what we must contend with on the highways today. It's some scary stuff.

                CMV driver was stopped for seatbelt violation, but Georgia cops find so much more
                The driver of this CMV was stopped for not wearing his seatbelt. During the inspection, the Officer smelled the odor of marijuana, which lead to the discovery of suspected marijuana, two different narcotics, two firearms, and the driver was a convicted felon. The driver was also placed out service for not having an Electronic Logging Device.


                • #9
                  Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

                  Positive tests increased in September. Was it the virus and some companies not testing enough ? Or is the testing becoming more stringent ?

                  Truck drivers testing positive for drugs increased 8% in September
                  Positive drug tests and drug test refusals increased 8% and 9.3%, respectively, in September, after dropping slightly in August, according to the most recent data compiled by the federal Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse.
                  The latest monthly data, released Tuesday by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), also revealed that the number of drivers now in “prohibited status” — meaning they have at least one drug or alcohol violation and are still in the return-to-duty process — reached 34,156 as of Oct. 1. Roughly 78% (26,590) of those drivers, however, have not yet started the RTD process.
                  “The month-on-month increase in the number of drug violations, including the increase in the number of positive drug tests, is pretty troubling,” David Osiecki, president and CEO of Scopelitis Consulting LLC, told FreightWaves.
                  “Having said that, it’s in part a function of a greater number of pre-employment drug tests administered — due to more drivers being hired — along with the likelihood of more quarterly random test selections during September” as the last month of the third quarter, he said.


                  • #10
                    Re: Truck drivers & illicit drugs

                    Not really much information other then a driver overdosed in his truck while parked in a truck stop in South Dakota.
                    This is the state of the industry ?

                    Trucker who overdosed in his truck at South Dakota truck stop saved by police officer
                    A truck driver who overdosed on an opioid was saved by a police officer who administered Naloxone or Narcan.
                    According to News Center 1, on Tuesday at approximately 4:20 pm, authorities were called to the Pilot Flying J truck stop in Box Elder, South Dakota for a medical emergency.
                    When first responders arrived, they found a 28-year-old man in his truck unconscious, blue and unresponsive.
                    Box Elder police officer Ricardo Olandez recognized the signs of an opioid overdose and administered Naloxone. Several minutes later, the driver was given a second dose of Naloxone.
                    Upon receiving the second dose, the driver’s color returned and he began breathing again. Shortly thereafter, the driver became combative. He was later restrained and taken to a hospital for treatment.