Launched in January of 2020, the Clearinghouse is a federal database that records failed drug/alcohol tests of commercial drivers. This database is used by employers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement to determine the eligibility of current or prospective commercial drivers. With new administrators taking over the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), new regulations and changes may come to the Clearinghouse in 2021.
According to an October 2020 summary report for the Department of Transportation, the Clearinghouse recorded 46,000 driver drug-related violations within the first ten months of its existence. The success of identifying potential liability issues may signal that changes to the reporting and testing procedures are not necessary. However, an emphasis on legalized marijuana by the new administration may impact drug testing and reporting results to the Clearinghouse.
In addition to federally-legalized marijuana use, other trucking changes may include safety measures such as automatic emergency braking on new trucks and mandatory use of speed limiters. Also, the new administration may finally clear the air on screening requirements for sleep apnea during DOT physicals. Currently, the Department of Transportation does not require sleep apnea testing for truck drivers during the medical examination. However, the examiner may decide if further testing is needed or if the condition is severe enough to interfere with driving safely. These changes to physical exams and new safety measures could help limit an employer’s liability while, ultimately, keeping their commercial drivers safe.
With new Clearinghouse regulations and safety measures possibly coming in 2021, keeping your business compliant doesn’t have to be difficult. At ARCpoint Labs, our DOT Compliance Services can help you navigate the regulations that apply to your company so you don’t have to worry. Companies charged with violating Clearinghouse regulations can now face fines up to $5,833 per violation, so being up-to-date on changing regulations can save you time and money.
If you’re looking for more information regarding the DOT Clearinghouse, request your FREE resource packet today!