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Federal Transit Administration Proposes Changes in Federal Drug Testing Rules


March 1995

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has released a proposal to make three changes in the Department of Transportation's regulations implementing the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act (49 CFR 653 and 654) ("FTA Outlines Proposed Amendment To Drug and Alcohol Testing Rules," National Report on Substance Abuse, Mar. 2, 1995, p. 1).

The proposal would change the following parts of the regulations:

[1] Employers would be able to judge if a drug test for an employee is appropriate after a non-rail mass transit accident not involving fatalities. Under the current rule employers must test all vehicle operators involved in an accident even if there were no injuries (amending 49 CFR 653.45(a)(2)(i) and 49 CFR 654.33(a)(2)(i)).

[2] The definition of "accident" would be expanded to include the accidental firing of a firearm by security personnel.

[3] Volunteers, even when in safety-sensitive positions, would not be required to take mandatory drug tests (amending 59 Federal Register 7531-7611).

The FTA requests comment on the proposed rules by April 7, 1995.

[For more information on program issues, contact Judy Meade or Rhonda Crawley at the Office of Safety and Security at 202-366-2896. For legal questions, contact Nancy M. Zaczek or Daniel Duff at the Office of Chief Counsel at 202-366-4011. The Federal Transit Administration is located at 400 Seventh Street, SW, Room 9316, Washington, DC, 20590.]