Transportation companies have had their eye on the latest news from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), awaiting their decision on the rate of random drug screenings for this year. In December, it was announced that the random testing rate will remain steady at 25% for 2017. This is the second year for such a low rate and shows the impact the transportation industry has on keeping our roads safe.
The FMCSA’s decision to hold the testing rate to 25% was made after a federal review of industry positive testing rates finding that less than 1% of drivers failed a drug and alcohol screening. The rate decreased from 50% to 25% in 2016, halving the number of random screenings required in previous years. This new rate carrying over into 2017 is a weight off the shoulders of many trucking companies.
While the 25% rate is the federal minimum, many companies have opted to test at a higher rate. There is good reason for that, too. Drug and alcohol use is a hot button issue, and no company wants the liability of employees who are driving under the influence of an illicit substance. Using deterrents such as in-house support programs and random screenings have done great things for keeping the overall industry positive test rate down. By testing at a higher rate, companies can deter bad behavior and keep irresponsible and negligent drivers off the road.
However, this rate is not permanent. A finding of a higher rate of positive test results can cause the minimum testing rate to go up. The FMCSA Administrator notes that the random screening rate can and will return to 50% should the positive testing rates go back above 1%. The 2015 survey is currently underway, and the 2016 survey will be due by the end of the year. The best way to ensure a low minimum testing rate is to maintain compliance now and into the future.
One method to help ensure compliance with a flexible labor force is to employ technology like ClearID. Both employers and candidates can complete complex forms, track screening results, and get in contact with each other using this unique application. Using a technology platform to simplify flexible labor management is a great way to keep your positive testing numbers low.
Work with a company familiar with the changing needs of the transportation industry. Contact ClearStar today to get started!