U.S. Van Drivers Should Pass Drug, Medical Tests

U.S. Van Drivers Should Pass Drug, Medical Tests
Posted by CN Staff on April 07, 2004 at 16:02:06 PT
News Story
The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board recommended that drivers of vans designed to carry as many as 15 passengers pass drug, medical and criminal background checks. The federal agency also recommended that states require regular inspections of the vans, which commonly transport children, after reviewing a 2002 Tennessee accident that killed four kids and the driver. The NTSB concluded that fatigue caused by an undiagnosed sleep disorder probably caused the accident. Marijuana use may also have contributed, the NTSB said.
Today's recommendations, which states can choose to ignore, are the third involving the vans in the past two years. The agency last July called on automakers and regulators to strengthen roofs and tighten driver license and training procedures after a Dodge van crashed, killing five. In 2002, technology such as electronic traction control was recommended to limit rollovers. ``The Tennessee Department of Human Services provided inadequate oversight,'' NTSB said in a report. ``The accident driver was able to transport children, even though he had not had a background check or medical examination.'' There are an estimated 500,000 15-passenger vans operating in the U.S. that were made by Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG. The vans roll over more than half the time in fatal crashes, according to NTSB. One in four of the 130 Americans who died in accidents involving the vehicles in 2001 was wearing seat belts. Complete Title: U.S. Van Drivers Should Pass Drug, Medical Tests, NTSB Says Source: Bloomberg.comPublished: April 7, 2004Copyright: 2004 Bloomberg L.P. CannabisNews Drug Testing Archives
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 08, 2004 at 08:43:00 PT
Good Question Jose
My answer is because they don't fit their agenda. I know that's simplistic but that's how I feel.
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Comment #5 posted by Jose Melendez on April 08, 2004 at 08:36:21 PT
what I want to know is . . . 
1. Why are existing driver impairment studies not relevant to the press, prohibitionists or in court?2. Is suppression of material, relevant facts from evidence submitted in a trial lawful?from:"The most obvious effect of the cannabis was that the volunteers drove more slowly, trying to compensate for intoxication by being more cautious. The volunteers also found it difficult to follow a figure-of-eight loop of road when given a high dose of cannabis. However, reaction times to motorway hazards were not significantly affected. Trials previously completed under similar test conditions at the TRL have shown that alcohol and tiredness have a more adverse effect on driving ability. The results of the cannabis and driving study agree with similar research carried out in Australia, the US and Holland. "from: impairs driving more than marijuana

Exclusive from New Scientist Print Edition

A single glass of wine will impair your driving more than smoking a joint.
And under certain test conditions, the complex way alcohol and cannabis
combine to affect driving behaviour suggests that someone who has taken both
may drive less recklessly than a person who is simply drunk.These are the findings of a major new study by British transport
researchers. The unpublished research, seen exclusively by New Scientist,
stops well short of condoning driving under the influence of even small
amounts of cannabis. But in a week which has seen renewed debate in Britain
surrounding the criminalisation of cannabis, it throws an uncomfortable
spotlight on a problem confronting governments everywhere - how to deter the
growing numbers of cannabis users from "dope driving".see also:"The results of the studies corroborate those of previous driving simulator and closed-course tests by indicating that THC in inhaled doses up to 300g/kg has significant, yet not dramatic, dose-related impairing effects on driving performance. Standard deviation of lateral position in the road-tracking test was the most sensitive measure for revealing THC's adverse effects. This is because road-tracking is primarily controlled by an automatic information processing system which operates outside of conscious control. The process is relatively impervious to environmental changes, but highly vulnerable to internal factors that retard the flow of information through the system. THC and many other drugs are among these factors. When they interfere with the process that restricts SDLP, there is little the afflicted individual can do by way of compensation to restore the situation. Car-following and, to a greater extent, city driving performance depend more on controlled information processing and are therefore more accessible for compensatory mechanisms that reduce the decrements or abolish them entirely.THC's effects after doses up to 300g/kg never exceeded alcohol's at BACs of 0.08g% and were in no way unusual compared to many medicinal drugs (Robbe 1994). Yet THC's effects differ qualitatively from many other drugs, especially alcohol. Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving whereas THC encourages greater caution, at least in experiments. Another way THC seems to differ qualitatively from many other drugs is that the former's users seem better able to compensate for its adverse effects while driving under the influence." especially, from:"10.8 Cannabis was the drug most involved in the drug-driving incidents reported. Nonetheless, driving on cannabis was not considered the most dangerous type of drug-driving. In fact, it was often deemed quite safe. Driving after ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamine and LSD were all perceived to be more hazardous, but occurred less frequently. Cannabis driving was a behaviour that individuals routinely engaged in as part of their everyday lives whereas driving after other drugs tended to be an occasional event, mostly confined to the early hours of Saturdays and Sundays. "
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Comment #4 posted by breeze on April 07, 2004 at 23:29:26 PT
He had a sleeping disorder-
But this escapes notice to the casual reader.But if you try to get help for a sleeping disorder, you are labled as a speedfreak. I don't get it. They insist that the "evil drug marijuana" is the cause for every ill in society- yet, they champion alcohol and with all of the ads on television, you just ain't happy unless you are walking around with an erection.If you have itchy watery eyes, its gotta be your allergies- take this pill, but be wary of side effects such as liver damage, diahrea, flatulance.Depressed? Suicidal? Take this pill and if it doesn't help you, then take this other pill. If that doesn't work, take this other pill. As a side effect, It might make you think suicide is actually a good idea, or it could make your blood pressure rise, it could contribute to a kidney disorder.And if that doesn't work, try this herb inhaler- the only side effect is that you might get hungry, you will definitely stop thinking about suicide, and you MIGHT EVEN LAUGH OUT LOUD for the first time in weeks. But use with precaution, don't drive while partaking the natural herb inhaler or for that matter, two months after you last used the natural herb inhaler, something else entirely could cause you to have an accident and you will get life in prison- but it will be blamed on what you did three weeks ago in the confines of your own home. But hey, at least someone will have a legally medicated erection to rape you with during your stay in the big house. 
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Comment #3 posted by Patrick on April 07, 2004 at 18:37:38 PT
Evil marijuana behind another tragedy
Again?A tragic accident reported to purposefully demonize marijuana. The other tragedy here is that most folk will read this and be left with a negative impression about marijuana and won't even remember why later. Then one dayoh yeah, I remember it now. Marijuana makes you drive a vanload of kids into bridges and stuff killing everyone aboard. That owner guy went to prison cause he knew the driver smoked weed. Maybe we ought to shoot them drug dealers on site or hang the publicly or something?
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 07, 2004 at 18:13:19 PT
Related Article from The Associated Press
Day Car Vans Must Be Watched Closely: Board By Associated Press April 7, 2004 WASHINGTON -- Child care centers should require background checks for drivers who transport children and stop using 15-person vans, which are susceptible to rollovers, federal safety investigators recommended Wednesday. In their report on a van crash that killed four children and the driver in Memphis, Tenn., the National Transportation Safety Board said state agencies in charge of overseeing child care centers need to do more to ensure that drivers are qualified. The board recommended requiring criminal background checks, medical examinations and drug testing. The Memphis crash occurred when driver Wesley Hudson, 27, lost control of the 15-passenger van carrying children from Tippy Toes Learning Academy. It crashed into a highway bridge support. The safety board concluded Hudson had smoked marijuana the morning of the crash and fell asleep at the wheel. He probably had an undiagnosed sleep disorder, investigators said. Under Tennessee state rules, Hudson should not have been driving a day care van because he had a past conviction for marijuana possession. "This was a shocking accident that did not need to occur," NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman Conners said. "That driver should not have been driving." NTSB investigators found the day care center had ignored complaints from parents about Hudson's marijuana use. The board determined the probable cause of the accident was the day care center's negligence and the driver's inability to control the van. In November, the former owner of the day care center was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated assault. The government has warned that 15-passenger vans have a dramatically higher risk of rollovers when fully loaded and only should be operated by experienced drivers. There are about 117,000 child care centers in the United States, the safety board said.
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on April 07, 2004 at 16:33:28 PT
Next Step
How long until everyone will need to be drug tested just to drive a car? I used to drive a van like they mentioned. I took church kids all over the state for different activities. Now even church drivers who are volunteers will need to jump thru loops too. It never ceases to amaze me.
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