Skip to comments.Number Of US Truck Drivers Sidelined Due To Substance Abuse Violations Has Surpassed 60,000
Posted on 07/02/2021 10:54:10 AM PDT by blam
The number of U.S. truck drivers sidelined due to substance abuse violations has surpassed 60,000 and continues to climb by roughly 2,000-3,000 per month, according to federal data. The latest monthly report by the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration since January 2020, revealed that 60,299 CDL holders have a drug or alcohol violation recorded in the clearinghouse as of June 1, up from 57,510 as of May 1 and up from 18,860 recorded in the clearinghouse as of May 1, 2020.
Drivers with at least one substance abuse violation are barred from operating a commercial truck until they complete a return-to-duty process, which includes providing a negative follow-up test result. The percentage of drivers who are completing the RTD process has steadily increased over the past year, however, from 5.2% as of May 1, 2020, to 22.1% as of May 1, 2021.
Marijuana consistently tops the list of substances identified in positive drug tests, far outpacing cocaine and methamphetamine, the second- and third-highest drug violations, respectively, among CDL holders.
The number of violations now recorded in the clearinghouse stands out for another reason: It’s coincidentally just a few hundred shy of an estimated number of drivers needed to fill a shortfall of commercial drivers to keep pace with freight demand.
“According to a recent estimate, the trucking industry needs an additional 60,800 truck drivers immediately — a deficit that is expected to grow to more than 160,000 by 2028,” testified American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear at a Capitol Hill hearing on freight mobility in May.
“In fact, when anticipated driver retirement numbers are combined with the expected growth in capacity, the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 1.1 million new drivers over the next decade, or an average of nearly 110,000 per year.”
Scopelitis Consulting Co-Director Sean Garney pointed out that the growing number of prohibited drivers is not a bad thing from a safety standpoint.
“The database is doing what it’s supposed to do, which is identify those who should not be driving,” Garney told FreightWaves. “Losing drivers due to positive drug tests may not necessarily be a good thing for truck capacity, but I think what many others in this industry also care about is safety.”
I would guess the year was 2000-2002 based on who I worked with, but I remember reading and telling a coworker:
At any given time, the average percentage of truck drivers currently on the road with enough drugs in their systems to be labeled impaired is 42%.
This is not good news when you are on the freeway and see a semi-truck tailgating you at 65 mph.
Drugs that keep the drivers awake are not surprising. Marijuana is, somewhat. Maybe they take it to stave off boredom, until they crash into something. Or maybe it’s just a habit they brought with them into the job, until they crash into something.
Dave Dudley sang it in Six Days on the Road
I got me ten forward gears and my Georgia overdrive
Takin’ little white pills and my eyes are open wide
I just passed a Jimmy in white, I’ve been passin’ everything in sight
Six days on the road and I’m a gonna make it home tonight
Well my rig’s a little old but that don’t mean she’s slow
There’s a flame from my stack and that smoke’s blowin’ black as coal
My hometown’s a comin’ in sight, if you think I’m a happy you’re right
Six days on the road and I’m a gonna make it home tonight
I’ve heard they are hiring just about anyone with a pulse.
Definitely have noticed a sharp decline in professionalism. Often have seen them swerving out of the lines (on their phones or impaired?), cruising in the fast lane, cutting people off, aggressive driving, etc.
Our crazy government can't legalize marijuana fast enough while simultaneously cracking down hard on those who use it.
>> Marijuana ... far outpacing cocaine
Now we know why there were major trucking delays and shortages
The Rats want drug revenue
One of my favorite songs.
I’ve got both sets of Movin On DVDS as well.
Season two is better.
This is part and parcel of drug legalization. We now have a growing population of potheads who can’t work safely in a variety of positions. You can add them to the slugs who are living off of never ending “relief” payments and tax credits.
The Demrats are creating an underclass of able bodied people who can’t or won’t work.
Yet another man of taste and sophistication. I salute you.
I try to have a few standards.
The Trucker drivers I work with mentioned they are making an insane amount of money because of over time (as most of their co workers got let go because they were too messed up to drive)
Provide incentives to drive responsibly and imbibe responsibly. Waviers (for a fee) for drivers with perfect record, to be voided if they are involved in a moving violation that damages either life or property.
I figure this statistic would mirror the US population as a whole.
It would not surprise me in the least to learn that over half the drivers in the USA are doped up in one way or another. Another half is texting. Defensive driving is important!
Yeah! That song was exactly whati was thinking!
One toke over the line? Seems like pot abuse w/ truckers isn’t a new thing, and the article doesn’t make any correlations with a rise in accidents. All that’s changed is the rise of the piss police demanding you pee in a cup. Not even Orwell went that far.
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