Hair samples would be used to screen truck drivers for illegal drug use if a bill introduced in the House of Representatives this week becomes law.
H.R. 6641, introduced by Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., would require the Department of Transportation to set up a pilot program for hair follicle testing.
Currently, the DOT requires urine tests for drug use. Hair follicle testing is more expensive but can detect illegal drug use over a longer period of time.
Each half inch of head hair provides a 30-day history of drug use, while urine tests provide a two- to three-day history in most cases.
The American Trucking Associations said it supports the legislation. “Hair testing … is the next logical step,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said.
Some trucking companies, including Gordon Trucking of Pacific, Wash., already use hair testing in addition to the conventional tests required by the DOT.