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DOT Agencies
3 mins read

April 1, 2016 -It is sometimes easy to forget that the Department of Transportation (DOT) has several agencies that fall under its authority. These agencies are usually referred to as “The DOT,” but they are very much their own entities.

Let’s take a brief look at each of these DOT agencies to learn more about their core responsibilities.

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – this is the agency that regulates most of our readers. As part of the Federal Highway Administration, its primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – this is the DOT agency that inspects and rates civilian aircraft and pilots, enforces the rules of air safety, and installs and maintains air navigation and traffic control facilities.
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) – this is the division whose primary mission is to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods on our nation’s railways.
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA) – this agency provides financial and technical assistance to local public transportation, such as large busing and trolley systems.
  • Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) – this is the agency that develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.
  • United States Coast Guard (USCG) – This is the only DOT-regulated military organization within the Department of Homeland Security.

As you might expect, each agency has a wide range of regulations and the businesses who fall under a particular DOT agency must comply with those regulations. One commonality between each of these agencies is required Drug & Alcohol Testing.

DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing

All DOT agencies have a set of specific regulations pertaining to how Drug & Alcohol Testing is administered. These rules have been put in place by the Office of Drug & Alcohol Program Compliance (ODAPC). Although each agency must adhere to ODAPC’s requirements, they each have their own specific rules and regulations. Think of ODAPC as the Federal Government and the DOT agencies as the States.

Our country’s transportation system is a complex structure that includes various modes of transport. In that regard, it makes sense that a complex structure of regulations would also be needed to ensure everyone’s safety.

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