Train Crews Subject to Drug and Alcohol Tests
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A federal regulation allowing railroad supervisors to test employees for drugs or alcohol if impairment is suspected became official this week despite protests by unions representing railroad workers.
The regulation also for the first time prohibits railroad workers from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs or consume alcohol or drugs while on duty.
The National Transportation Safety Board recommended 12 years ago that such regulations be enacted because of the frequent link of alcohol or drug use to railroad accidents.
The Transportation Department announced the new regulations last year and had sought to impose them last November. But the rules were challenged in the courts by the rail unions. An appeals court set aside the regulations, but the Supreme Court sided with the government and let the rules stand.