The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA), in a new step to combat the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy, is modifying a regulation regarding drugs. No, truckers will not be allowed to drive while smoking marijuana without being added to the Clearinghouse.
Normally when hiring a company driver, the company must perform pre-employment drug testing. The exception to this was if the prospective employee had taken a controlled substances testing program that complied with 49 CFR part 382 within the last 30 days.
The exception has had its length tripled to ninety days. While the pandemic was first a boon for the trucking industry, the honeymoon period has ended and some layoffs and furloughs occurred. The FMCSA does not want the hiring or rehiring of commercial truck drivers to be impeded harshly during the state of emergency. The costs of pre-employment drug testing can be a burden on trucking companies. As such, the FMCSA is trying to make things easier for companies while not condoning codeine.
The FMCSA says this is an easy and effective way to serve the public interest. “FMCSA finds that the granting of this waiver is in the public interest because it will facilitate the efficient return of furloughed commercial motor vehicle drivers to the workforce, allowing them to resume critical transportation functions performed by passenger and property motor carriers. In addition, this waiver will reduce the regulatory burden on employers and furloughed drivers subject to the pre-employment testing requirement” the waiver said.
The waiver is expected to last through the end of September. To read the waiver in its entirety, click the link.
After two months where average COVID-19 deaths in the United States exceeded one thousand per day, June is on pace to buck that trend. Hopefully, this means that the coronavirus pandemic is approaching its end and things will return to normal soon.
The CDC has a webpage that tracks the current cases and deaths, and how it compares to yesterday.