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On June 25, 2015, about 7:10 p.m., a 2007 Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a 2005 Great Dane semitrailer, operated by Cool Runnings Express, Inc., was traveling northbound in the center lane of Interstate 75, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, when the driver did not respond to the slow-moving traffic ahead and collided with the rear of a 2010 Toyota Prius. Traffic had slowed near milepost 11.7 because of road construction and a work zone lane closure at milepost 12. The truck-tractor continued forward and collided with seven additional vehicles, forcing them into subsequent collisions. Of the 18 vehicle occupants, six died and four were injured. A postcrash fire consumed one vehicle. The truck driver’s trip began earlier that day, about 5:16 a.m., in Haines City, Florida. His destination was the carrier terminal in London, Kentucky.
TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Disseminate information to motor carriers about using hair testing as a method of detecting the use of controlled substances, under the appropriate circumstances.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Unacceptable Response
Chattanooga, TN, United States
Preliminary Report, Highway Accident Report HWY15MH009
Multivehicle Work Zone Crash on Interstate 75
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
FMCSA (Open - Unacceptable Response)
Safety Recommendation History
We remain disappointed that you do not intend to communicate hair testing information until all federal efforts to create standards, guidance, and regulations are complete, which could take several years. We continue to believe that you should ensure that motor carriers are aware of their option to use hair testing and that they have an interim understanding of what is currently allowed as the industry awaits federal action. Pending dissemination of the recommended information, Safety Recommendation H-16-8 remains classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Michael J. Jordon, Management and Program Analyst, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: On December 13, 2017, representatives from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) met to discuss the status of 7 safety recommendations. This memorandum communicates the status updates discussed. Current Classification: Open - Unacceptable Response Requested Classification: Open - Acceptable Response • On April 20, 2017, NTSB responded to FMCSA’s initial correspondence expressing disappointment that FMCSA does not intend to communicate hair testing information to motor carriers until all Federal efforts to create standards, guidance, and regulations are complete. • FMCSA recognizes the Board’s concern that HHS efforts to develop scientific and technical guidelines will take time; however, FMCSA is limited by statutory language (Public Law 102-143; see Appendix A) and will not issue information to motor carriers about hair testing absent scientific and technical guidelines developed by HHS and the subsequent adoption of said guidelines by DOT. • FMCSA continues to closely monitor HHS progress on the development of scientific and technical guidance, in coordination with ODAPC. • FMCSA reiterates its position that it will disseminate hair testing information to motor carriers upon DOT’s adoption of HHS guidelines on hair testing. • FMCSA requests NTSB reclassify safety recommendation H-16-008 as “Open – Acceptable Response.”
Our intent in issuing this recommendation was to ensure that carriers are aware of how they can currently use hair testing. We are disappointed that you do not intend to communicate hair testing information until all federal efforts to create standards, guidance, and regulations are complete; a process that could take several years. Hair testing is already used by some carriers and may identify controlled substances beyond the scope of current drug testing; consequently, we believe that you should ensure that motor carriers are aware of their option to use hair testing and that they have an interim understanding of what is currently allowed as the industry awaits federal action. Pending dissemination of the recommended information, Safety Recommendation H-16-8 is classified OPEN--UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Daphne Y. Jefferson, Deputy Administrator: Section 5402 of Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue scientific and technical guidelines for hair testing as a method of detecting the use of a controlled substances before the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) may implement regulations allowing use of hair testing as an alternative to urine as mandated in 49 USC 31306, as revised. Motor carriers are not prohibited from voluntarily implementing more extensive testing for controlled substances than that required by DOT regulations and have done so, as seen by industry use of hair testing and 12-panel tests, rather than the five-panel test required by 49 CPR 40.85. Once HHS issues its report providing industry standards and technical guidelines for hair testing as a method of detecting use of controlled substances, FMCSA expects that DOT will act promptly and expeditiously to incorporate these standards into DOT regulations in 49 CPR part 40. FMCSA will then be able to disseminate this information to motor carriers concerning use of hair testing under their DOT -mandated testing program. FMCSA requests the NTSB close safety recommendation H-16-008.
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