After a year-long review of substance-impaired driving in the trucking industry, the National Transportation Safety Board has issued recommendations for reducing the legal alcohol driving limit; ramping up the use of interlock devices; and beefing up penalties for non-compliance.
According to a NTSB report, the new legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers should drop from .08 to .05.
While the American Trucking Associations commended the progress on these measures, Bill Graves, chief executive officer, repeated his call to develop a drug testing process that uses hair sample testing instead of urine analysis. Graves wrote about his support for a new testing scheme in a May 13 letter to outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. In the letter, he said drivers who have fail hair tests have been able to obtain licenses by passing urine-analysis tests.
“All we are asking is for DOT to allow this industry to use the best available tools under the DOT-mandated drug and alcohol testing program to make sure our roads are safe for all motorists,” Graves said in a statement.
He acknowledged, though, NTSB is taking the right steps forward.
“All motorists should support reducing the instances of impaired driving,” Graves said. “The trucking industry is held, and holds itself, to a higher standard, and we are encouraged by NTSB’s recommendations to bolster efforts to reduce drunk and drugged driving for all motorists.” - Jon Ross