Published: Feb 8, 2018, 10:39 am • Updated: Feb 8, 2018, 10:53 am
WASHINGTON – As the opioid crisis has mushroomed into a national epidemic, the number of truck and bus drivers, commercial pilots, railroad operators and pipeline workers who failed federal drug tests has jumped by 77 percent since 2006, federal data shows.
Transportation companies with workers who hold “safety sensitive” jobs are required to test at least 25 percent of their workforce each year, although in some industries there is more regular and stringent testing. Nearly a million more workers are now being drug tested as the transportation industry has rebounded from the recession to employ more workers.
The drug testing data was obtained from the Transportation Department by Democratic staff members on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, who followed up on reports in 2016 about drug abuse by railroad workers.
In a letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and two other administration officials, Rep. Peter DeFazio, Ore., the ranking Democrat on the transportation committee, wrote Thursday that