Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A number of truck drivers and truck driver assistants in HCM City were found to have used drugs after local authorities of Trường Thọ Ward and police of Thủ Đức District conducted tests last weekend.
According to Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper, urine tests were conducted randomly on drivers passing through the gates of Phúc Long Port and Tân Cảng Thủ Đức depot on Saturday and Sunday.
Among 30 people tested on Sunday afternoon, three drivers and one assistant tested positive for methamphetamine.
Driver Nguyễn Công Thiện, 28, from central Quảng Trị Province and Lê Ngọc Bảo, 19, from central Khánh Hòa Province were among those who tested positive for synthetic drugs.
Thiện, who has been on the road for ten years, confessed to police he had taken drugs one day earlier at a friend’s birthday party. He said he usually takes drugs.
Driver Nguyễn Xuân Bắc, 24, from Đắk Nông Province said he was aware taking drugs while driving is illegal and dangerous to himself and others. However, he claimed to only take small amounts to stay awake.
On Saturday, two other drivers and one assistant had tested positive for synthetic drugs.
They were taken to Trường Thọ Ward’s police office for further punishment. Two drivers were sent to a drug rehabilitation centre.
A Thanh Niên reporter contacted a representative of Thiên An Company in District 7 after one of the company’s drivers tested positive for drugs. The representative, Hải, was surprised by the result and said the driver, Nguyễn Thế Truyền, signed a contract with the company one month ago and had a health check that did not reveal any drugs.
The company will end the driver’s contract, Hải said.
Trường Thọ Ward in Thủ Đức District has a large number of ports that see a high volume of truck drivers pass through. The ward has pioneered a programme to be the first in HCM City to test drivers for drugs.
Local authorities have also conducted driving licence tests and alcohol tests on drivers.
Hồ Văn Phước, chairman of the ward’s People’s Committee, said the locality was committed to continuing the tests in the future to reduce accidents caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
According to Captain Nguyễn Hữu Hậu, deputy head of the ward’s police department, some drivers high on drugs refused to take the test and tried to escape. It has long been known some drivers take heroin, but police need co-operation from multiple forces to address the violations.
In a related move, Hà Nội’s transport department asked transport companies to conduct health check-ups on all drivers before February 28.
The checks must be conducted at medical centres certificated by the health ministry. They will test for morphine and heroin, amphetamines, methamphetamine and marijuana.
The tests were ordered after a tragic accident in HCM City on January 2. A truck driver who later tested positive for heroin and alcohol hit 21 motorbikes waiting at a red light at Nhựt Chánh junction in the city’s Bến Lức District, killing three people on the spot and injuring 18 others. — VNS