The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Assn. has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to extend the comment period on the proposed drug and alcohol clearinghouse for 60 days. The deadline for comments currently is April 21.

In its April 15 petition, OOIDA said the rulemaking is complex and important and “concerns the dissemination of information that can have a direct bearing on a commercial motor vehicle driver’s ability to operate safely on our highways.”

OOIDA noted that the proposed rule governs not only drivers but also institutions that manage and conduct the federal drug testing scheme. An organization affiliated with OOIDA runs a drug testing consortium for 12,430 OOIDA members.

OOIDA also said it learned at the recent Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Alliance spring conference and workshop that the American Trucking Assns. plans to propose additional functionality under the rule to provide motor carriers and some state officials with greater access to drug testing information and to allow motor carriers to directly report observations or admissions of driver drug use directly to the proposed clearinghouse.

“ATA’s substantive interests might have merit, but OOIDA is not certain that the solutions ATA outlined broadly at that conference would fairly protect the legitimate interests of drivers,” OOIDA told FMCSA.