Mandatory narco test for heavy vehicle, bus drivers mooted | Daily News

Mandatory narco test for heavy vehicle, bus drivers mooted

The Government is planning to perform a drug test in connection with the mandatory physical examination when either issuing or renewing a driver’s licence.

The effort is to stop drivers putting themselves and others at risk by getting behind the wheel after using illegal narcotic drugs.

Transport State Minister Dilum Amunugama said that a proposal will be brought before the Cabinet to make the drug driving test mandatory when issuing or renewing a driver’s licence.

Speaking to the media in Kandy, Amunugama lamented that around 80 per cent of private bus drivers on certain routes in the suburbs of Colombo use drugs while driving.

He said that although the police can conduct investigations and tests and arrest drivers while they are driving under the influence, there was no possibility of stopping people from driving under the influence narcotics.“As a solution to this situation, it is planned to direct all drivers to a drug related test when obtaining or renewing their driving licences. Initially, the test will be conducted only for drivers of heavy vehicles. Drugs can be detected within the human body within a period of one month after use and it will be possible to find out whether drivers are using narcotics,” he said.

Amunugama said that a person who is addicted to drugs cannot stay without using them for over a month and as a result, this test will be able to identify those who are addicted to narcotics.

“Safe driving requires good judgement and sharp concentration. You also need to react quickly to changing situations on the road.

The use of illicit drugs causes changes in the brain which can impair driving ability and increase crash risk”.Amunugama said the Government takes a zero-tolerance approach to drug driving, to stop drivers putting themselves and others at risk by getting behind the wheel after using drugs.