The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) has asked Congress to support the trucking industry in efforts to strengthen drug and alcohol testing for the nation’s 3.4-million truck drivers.

Greer Woodruff, senior vp of corporate safety & security for J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. made five recommendations for improving testing programs in testimony on behalf of ATA before the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The recommendations included urging Congress to authorize and fund a centralized clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol tests. This would ensure that motor carrier employers would be aware if prospective employees previously tested positive. Woodruff also encouraged the implementation of an incentive-based random testing rate requirement and banning the distribution of products that help drivers evade drug tests, among other recommendations.

According to government reports, drug abuse in the trucking industry has remained around 2% since testing began in 1995, less than half of that found in the general work force.

“Trucking has worked diligently to eradicate drug and alcohol abuse from its work force. And we’ve made great strides in recent years,” said ATA president & CEO Gov. Bill Graves. “But now, trucking is looking to the government for additional help.”