- A national clearinghouse containing all commercial transport drivers' drug and alcohol records will take effect beginning January 2017, with a mandatory compliance date of 2020, reported The American Trucking Associations last week.
- Under the new rule, Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) employers, medical review officers, substance abuse professionals and consortium/3rd party administrators will all be required to report known violations to the new clearinghouse.
- As the rule takes effect, employers will be required to consult the clearinghouse in advance of driver employment, and again once per year for continually employed drivers.
Driver safety standards to reduce liability within the trucking industry have been on the rise, and will soon see a clear economic benefit to the consolidation of mandatory data collection.
The consolidation of drug and alcohol background screenings are forecast to save $42 million dollars annually. Standardization of employer queries, the running of the clearinghouse and the hiring and training of in-house service agents by employers to run the program will now cost less thanks to the new streamlining and consistency of process.
With trucking reporting one of the highest employee turnover rates in the country, one of the ancillary goals in creating this clearinghouse is to simplify an already mandatory process. Further, with turnover in mind, employers may consider creating an incentive rewards system for long-term drivers able to keep a clean driving record. With an annual turnover rate of at least 90% since 2012, creating incentives to stay based on the outcome of the clearinghouse's efficiencies can create an economic ripple effect as well as stabilize the industry turnover.