Drug Testing

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
14
From about 1993 or 1994, for every temporary agency, temp job, or permanent job I had, I was drug tested. While I was an "office worker," I worked for a wide variety of corporations, including as a secretary to the financial VP of a company that incinerated stuff to a plant manager for FDA regulated company to documentation and/or training for an FDA regulated company. Not only does the temp agency give you a drug test, but in some cases, so does the company where you'll be working. The FDA regulated companies drug tested everyone when starting followed by random drug tests at any time and for as many years as you worked for them. I heard that if you failed a drug test, it was instant termination. Drug testing is extemely common and definitely not worth risking your job.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,778
When you say Pong, do you mean that computer game that "simulates" ping pong or something else?

There are many reasons why people work/drive impaired, like you say. Most people are running around fatigued anyway due to many different reasons. However, as someone who lives in a wait and watch state in terms of recreational marijuana, the fact that the incidence of impaired driving and related accidents have increased (and therefore, insurance rates) since recreational marijuana was made legal in Colorado does give me pause.
I am fairly sure that is a spurious correlation, I.e. a coincidence. Impaired driving and crash rates have been increasing in MOST states including the prohibitionist states. There is something else going on... maybe the demise of drivers ed, who knows. Fewer and fewer people on the road seem to take driving seriously.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,984
I am fairly sure that is a spurious correlation, I.e. a coincidence. Impaired driving and crash rates have been increasing in MOST states including the prohibitionist states. There is something else going on... maybe the demise of drivers ed, who knows. Fewer and fewer people on the road seem to take driving seriously.
The increase in traffic may also be a factor. In fact, my wife and I were just talking about the Washington to Baltimore drive on I-95. I used to do it pretty frequently in the mid to late 1980s when I was going to graduate school part time. Back then, if you avoided the rush hours, 95 was the easy part of the drive. The beltways at either end were the stressful parts.

Last year, I drove down to work for the first time in my 19 years of working in DC to pack up personal stuff from my office, and the drive on 95 (at 5:30 AM) was a stressful mess. And that was the part where the traffic was free-flowing. Then I got to 295 in DC with the stop and go traffic. :( I've done 95 a couple of other times off-peak, and while the traffic flows well, it's crazy, especially the trucks, although the 4-wheelers driving like they're on the Grand Prix circuit don't help much either. When I go down to the Washington area, I usually take US 29. Even though there are some lights in Montgomery County, the traffic is more manageable. I think it's a fair hypothesis that even sober people's driving skills have declined, and the traffic environment is worse than it was in the past and getting even worse.
 

neroden

Conductor
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
7,778
Drivers ed basically ended in the 1990s, so everyone younger than me did not get it. Then of course there are drivers getting older and losing skill, and nobody ever takes refresher courses, so I am quite sure the average driving skill level has been dropping since drivers ed was ended in most school districts.
 

PVD

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
4,608
We still have a few down here, but not like it used to be. The big plus was/is the ability to get a full license at 17 insted of 18, as well as the insurance discount. I think the defensive driving courses are pretty popular, since they can save a good chunk of change, but at the same time, there are dangerous distractions like phones that didn't exist like they do now.
 

RSG

OBS Chief
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
575
Drivers ed basically ended in the 1990s, so everyone younger than me did not get it. Then of course there are drivers getting older and losing skill, and nobody ever takes refresher courses, so I am quite sure the average driving skill level has been dropping since drivers ed was ended in most school districts.
My hometown school district still offers drivers education, and some places, like most school districts in urban Colorado, have never had it. The skill testing in order to receive a license didn't change in those places where it wasn't a rite of passage. Enter the for-profit driving schools. One of the memories of looking through the Denver phone book in the library when I was growing up was the amount of driving schools--a completely foreign concept to my younger self--in the Yellow Pages, including enterprises such as the Sears Driving School ("Use your Sears Card") and the Montgomery Ward Driving School.

We still have a few down here, but not like it used to be. The big plus was/is the ability to get a full license at 17 insted of 18, as well as the insurance discount. I think the defensive driving courses are pretty popular, since they can save a good chunk of change, but at the same time, there are dangerous distractions like phones that didn't exist like they do now.
Many states are now going to a graduated license model, with privileges that increase over time and phasing in the elimination of restrictions, most notably the prohibition of multiple passengers--especially those not related to the driver--for those without an unrestricted license.

Insurance companies and technology have also played a role. Only the affluent can afford to insure a teenage driver without evidence of an approved training or safety course, particularly if the vehicle insured isn't a clunker. Many insurance companies will only give their best rates to those drivers who consent to an OBD module in the insured vehicle which measures speed, braking deployment and overall driving patterns. The continuing education in this model is via feedback in the form of possible lower rates for changes in driving behavior (or possibly policy cancellation for persistent violations).

Anecdotally, the younger drivers I've observed are generally conscientious and follow most established rules-of-the-road, including proper use of turn signals (a big pet peeve of mine). As a pedestrian, I've almost been hit twice in the past month, and neither driver was under 25.

The drivers most likely to cause a problem seem to be those who are new to the local area (especially from where aggressive driving is the norm), those with showoff vehicles (and it's no longer sports cars as it was when I was growing up), and those who experience most of their life inside a vehicle (not only the salesperson closing deals while driving, but amateur beauty operators, amateur social workers to friends and family, and drivers who are focused first on their mobile entertainment system).
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,728
Drivers ed basically ended in the 1990s, so everyone younger than me did not get it. Then of course there are drivers getting older and losing skill, and nobody ever takes refresher courses, so I am quite sure the average driving skill level has been dropping since drivers ed was ended in most school districts.
My girls were born in the early 90’s. Both took drivers ed at their respective high schools. So, no, drivers ed did not end in the 90’s.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RSG

Alice

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
965
When I was in high school a long time ago, we had two driving classes. One was daily full semester bookwork only. It covered enough to get a learner's permit along with general best practices and defensive driving (a necessary component to driving in LA). It was a regular elective class ending in a grade on your report card. The other was after school, not every day and not all semester. It had a simulator and then on-the-road practice after you passed the simulator. The simulator was not very sophisticated. I remember it could measure things like how many feet ahead you signaled a turn, and whether you used the clutch more-or-less at the right time. But I also remember the car's clutch didn't feel or behave anything like the simulator. Maybe that is why we had seat belts before they were in most private cars?

I see a lot more bad driving than I used to, especially in cities. I think part of it is heavier traffic. That doesn't just give more opportunities for collisions, I think it also puts people in a lousy mood and I think lousy moods contribute to lousy driving. I also see people who treat lane stripes like suggestions. Some seem to think a yellow light means rush through now. Again, that could be traffic. Lights used do a complete green to green cycle in 60 seconds (at least where I grew up), now it can be several minutes if you brake at a yellow.
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,984
Back in Pennsylvania, circa 1970, when you were 16, you were eligible for a "Cinderella License," which basically meant, you couldn't drive after midnight without a 21+ year old chaperone in the car with you. This converted to a regular license at age 18. If you passed an approved driver ed class, you were eligible for the full adult license at age 17. The Philadelphia School District did offer drivers ed, it was a half year, once a week in class and once on the road (with 4 students switching per road trip.) Not a whole lot of driving practice, but it did the job. After all these years, the one thing I remember from the instructor was, "Just because the speed limit sign says 40 mph, that doesn't mean you have to go 40 mph."
 

MARC Rider

Conductor
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
1,984
I see a lot more bad driving than I used to, especially in cities. I think part of it is heavier traffic. That doesn't just give more opportunities for collisions, I think it also puts people in a lousy mood and I think lousy moods contribute to lousy driving. I also see people who treat lane stripes like suggestions. Some seem to think a yellow light means rush through now. Again, that could be traffic. Lights used do a complete green to green cycle in 60 seconds (at least where I grew up), now it can be several minutes if you brake at a yellow.
I agree that the amount of traffic has gotten crazy. I recently saw a movie made in 1980 that included a scene of a car arriving at LAX (the airport). At first glance, I thought they were filming at some backcountry small-city airport, the traffic was so mellow, then the long shot showed the exit signs for Century Blvd. I couldn't see any long shadows that may have indicated they were shooting at 5 AM in June or something, there are a lot of cars on the road, it's just that the traffic at the airport was lighter than it is today. (Also amusing was that the characters were being picked up at the arrivals for TWA and Eastern Airlines. Also, that the car could just park in front of the arrivals hall, and there were no annoying PA announcements, "For security purposes...")
 

drdumont

Service Attendant
AU Supporter
Joined
Apr 16, 2017
Messages
200
I took Drivers' Ed in High school, in the Antediluvian age - about '62. Classroom time was after school, and across town in another school. (?). Road time was in lieu of gym class for 6 weeks. I got little time behind the wheel of the '61 Rambler as the teacher knew I had been driving since I was 13, ferrying my Grandfather around. So I usually napped. Most days consisted of one of the students driving around and stopping at a burger joint.
The teacher had a brake pedal and an ignition switch on his side, no dual wheel.
 

anumberone

Conductor
AU Supporter
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
1,505
IMG_0416.PNG
IMG_0417.PNG
IMG_0418.PNG
I agree that the amount of traffic has gotten crazy. I recently saw a movie made in 1980 that included a scene of a car arriving at LAX (the airport). At first glance, I thought they were filming at some backcountry small-city airport, the traffic was so mellow, then the long shot showed the exit signs for Century Blvd. I couldn't see any long shadows that may have indicated they were shooting at 5 AM in June or something, there are a lot of cars on the road, it's just that the traffic at the airport was lighter than it is today. (Also amusing was that the characters were being picked up at the arrivals for TWA and Eastern Airlines. Also, that the car could just park in front of the arrivals hall, and there were no annoying PA announcements, "For security purposes...")
The top photo was typical of when I worked for United Airlines at LAX. The second photo was traffic I faced driving to work. Third photo, Traffic now, I think drivers are pretty good now, I'll admit some irritate me at times, but, all in all drivers do pretty well considering everything
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,272
We are assuming that the Guest's question about drug testing has been answered. We are also assuming that the Guest who posted the question was not interested in Driver's Education in the last century or traffic at LAX. We will be locking this thread at this time. If any members want to continue the discussion about Driver's Education and/or LAX traffic, please do so in the AU Lounge. Thank you.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top