Management

U.S. DOT Expands Drug Testing Panel

Thomas McMahon
Posted on November 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Four opioids have been added to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) drug testing panel.

The changes come in a final rule that was published in the Federal Register on Monday and goes into effect on Jan. 1.

The four semi-synthetic opioids that join the DOT’s drug testing panel are hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone. Brand names for those opioids include OxyContin, Percodan, Percocet, Vicodin, Lortab, Norco, Dilaudid, and Exalgo.

The final rule also adds methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) as an initial test analyte and removes testing for methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA).

The drug testing expansion comes amid a widely recognized opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 2 million people in the U.S. abused or were dependent on prescription opioids in 2014.

“The opioid crisis is a threat to public safety when it involves safety-sensitive employees involved in the operation of any kind of vehicle or transport,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a press release. “The ability to test for a broader range of opioids will advance transportation safety significantly and provide another deterrence to opioid abuse, which will better protect the public and ultimately save lives.”

A spokesman for the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration told School Bus Fleet that the changes in the final rule apply to all entities that are subject to U.S. DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements.

For a summary of the drug testing changes and additional information, go to this DOT web page.

Related Topics: drug use/testing

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 2 )
More Stories
NAPT Conference and Trade Show scholarship deadlines are almost here. Shown here is Michael Martin, NAPT's executive director, speaking at the 2018 conference in Kansas City, Mo.
News

NAPT Scholarship Deadlines Approaching

The National Association for Pupil Transportation Conference and Trade Show deadline for two related scholarships is Sept. 18. The Sol Englander Innovation in School Transportation Safety Scholarship deadline is Oct. 11.

Isabel Lane of Wisconsin held the hand of a frightened student on his first day of school. A photo of the gesture taken by his mother is widely shared on social media. Photo courtesy Amy Johnson
News

Bus Driver Comforts Student on First Day of School

Isabel Lane of Wisconsin reaches her hand out to a frightened student on his first day of school after he boards the bus. A photo of the gesture taken by his mother is widely shared on social media.

Francine Furby, the director of transportation for Fairfax County Public Schools, says that the district’s discipline-tracking system “fosters a partnership with the schools and strengthens their support of our drivers.” Photo courtesy Fairfax County Public Schools
Article

Virginia District Bolsters Driver Support for Success

Fairfax County Public Schools backs its 1,325 drivers with a discipline-tracking system for better follow-up and puts driver supervisors on the road to assist as needed. Additionally, fleet upkeep is boosted with county-employed technicians.

Glenda Daughtry, who recently retired, had worked as a bus driver and teacher’s aide for Sampson County Schools in Clinton, N.C. Many districts in the state require certain staff members to obtain their CDL and drive buses when needed. Photo courtesy Vicki Westbrook
Article

Helping School Bus Drivers Turn Downtime Into Uptime

Texas and North Carolina transportation departments fill the gap in drivers’ schedules with work opportunities beyond more routes, such as administrative, cleaning, and technical tasks, and tap other staff to ease driver shortage. Meanwhile, an Illinois contractor offers space for socializing and relaxation.

Zum has expanded its children’s ridesharing service to eight cities. Photo courtesy Zum
News

Zum Expands Ride Service to 8 Cities

In addition to Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, the children’s ridesharing company will now provide transportation to schools in Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; Miami; Phoenix; Dallas; Chicago; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!