TTC Wins Right to Demand Random Drug and Alcohol Tests on 10,000 Drivers, Other Workers

Article by Joseph Brean, National Post

TTC wins right to demand random drug and alcohol tests on 10,000 drivers, other workers. PostThe fatal August 2011 crash that sparked the TTC's pledge to start drug and alcohol testing of employees.

Toronto’s transit authority can start demanding random drug and alcohol tests from drivers of subways, buses and streetcars, following a judge’s decision Monday.

Other employees of the Toronto Transit Commission with safety-related roles in maintenance, control or the executive will also be required to submit on demand to a breath test for alcohol or an inner lip swab for a number of other drugs including marijuana, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines.

The tests will begin within the next few days, said Toronto Transit Commission spokesman Brad Ross, who noted he is covered by the policy, as is chief executive Andy Byford.

Tests will be set up to happen to every employee on average once in five years. They are meant to test for impairment at the time of the test, and nothing more, Ross said.

Random testing was pledged by the TTC shortly after a horrific crash in the summer of 2011, when a bus rear-ended a truck, killing a 43-year-old female passenger. The driver gave a breath test but refused a TTC drug test. He was charged with possessing marijuana.

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