Posted on / by The Trucking Alliance

Trucking Alliance Applauds Safety Agency Recommendations

Washington, D.C.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended today that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) tighten its drug testing protocols, encourage the use of hair testing and find ways to urge more carrier participation in other pre-employment screenings of truck drivers.

At an NTSB board meeting, federal investigators reported their findings into a 2015 multi-vehicle crash in Chattanooga, Tenn., that killed six and injured another four people. The investigation concluded that the truck driver, employed by Cooling Systems, Inc. was fatigued, under the influence of methamphetamines, and plowed into cars that were slowing to enter a construction zone. The report concluded that the truck was traveling between 78 and 80mph at the point of impact with the first car.

NTSB further recommended that FMCSA encourage carriers to utilize hair testing in their pre-employment processes.

The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security (aka The Trucking Alliance) applauded the NTSB board’s recommendations as further evidence that freight carriers can do much more to reduce the risks of accidents involving large trucks.

“This investigation concluded that had the carrier adopted more stringent practices in its hiring and monitoring of drivers, this accident could have been avoided,” said Lane Kidd, managing director of The Trucking Alliance

NTSB also recommended:

FMSCA should require carriers to consider a five year history of a driver’s crash record and past traffic violations and give ‘greater weight’ to such violations as speeding, reckless driving, and operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – that indicate the driver has exhibited a disregard for public safety.

Encourage carriers to take greater advantage of the FMCSA’s optional Pre-Employment Screening Program, which provides electronic crash records and inspection histories for job applicants. Fewer than one percent of freight carriers currently use the program.

FMCSA should publish best practices for pre-employment investigations, as well as educating carriers about hair testing for drugs.