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Are you a fleet manager with three drivers under your authority? If so, there is a good chance at least one of them has driven while under the influence of cannabis or cocaine. According to a shocking study conducted by drug-testing company Bioclinics, one in every three lorry driver samples tested at their labs has proved positive for cannabis or cocaine use.

According to Bioclinics Scientific Director Nichola McChrystal, an initial random sweep of the average haulage company is likely to reveal 36% of drivers testing positive for one of the two drugs. However, that’s not the half of it. McChrystal believes that the test results that her company has seen are not indicative of the true seriousness of the problem. She believes Bioclinics’ numbers are too low.

Bioclinics has seen a sharp increase in the number of annual tests that they conduct thanks to new rules that came into effect several years ago. Yet the company has been in the drug testing business for ten years now. McChrystal says she has enough experience to know that the drug problem among the UK’s lorry drivers is being severely underestimated. If she is right, the haulage and transport industries need to rethink their drug testing policies.

McChrystal told The Mirror that far too many companies have drug policies in place that they do not enforce. As such, drivers are caught with cannabis or cocaine in their systems and, when they contact Bioclinics about testing, they vehemently maintain their innocence. Nevertheless, as McChrystal points out, the drugs did not get into their systems by accident.

Surprised As Anyone

As one of the UK’s leading providers of lorry driver training, we must honestly admit that we are as surprised as anyone to hear about the testing results reported by Bioclinics. We spend a lot of time during our training sessions dealing with drink driving, drug driving, and other legal issues. Nonetheless, we go beyond just legal aspects to address these issues as they relate to road safety. We know how dangerous it is for lorry drivers to get behind the wheel with even a trace of illegal substances in their systems. We treat alcohol use just as seriously too.

It is unfortunate that some professional drivers have no problem engaging in illegal and dangerous behaviour while working. Nonetheless, the haulage industry does offer great opportunities for any conscientious lorry driver looking for work. Professional driving is a great career choice for young people just starting out and older workers looking for something new.

We hope the news of Bioclinics’ drug testing does not dissuade you from earning your commercial driving licence. The HGV Training Centre is ready to get you started in a lorry-driving programme that will teach you everything you need to know. We can have you ready to take the HGV test in just a few weeks, along with providing you access to our jobs database upon completion of your training. Call us for more information.


  1. The Mirror – https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/one-three-lorry-drivers-test-5328184


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