Transport minister suggests periodic, random drug tests for heavy vehicle drivers to curb DUI accidents –

Following a recent accident on the PLUS North South Highway involving seven vehicles – one trailer lorry and six cars – that claimed four lives, transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong is suggesting periodic and random drug tests for drivers of heavy vehicles to prevent driving under influence (DUI). This should go along with heavier penalties, he said.

“Cases of road accidents involving heavy vehicles such as trailers are on the rise. Such incidents also cost the lives of other road users. I feel sad about this and condolences to the family members,” he said in a Facebook post.

Wee said that with the cooperation of the police and the National Anti-Drugs Agency (AADK), screenings can be done periodically and randomly at various locations, including the offices of transport and logistics companies. He also instructed relevant agencies such as the JPJ, Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS) and Puspakom to thoroughly investigate accidents involving heavy vehicles. “Effective solutions need to be expedited,” he said.

The Ayer Hitam MP also called on transport companies to be fully responsible, especially when investigations point to their vehicles not being properly maintained or not complying with the rules.

“We do not want such irresponsible companies to get away with it and continue to be greedy and make a profit to the point of neglecting the safety of employees, who are their drivers, and those of other road users. Laws must be respected and fully adhered to. It is not something that can be taken lightly, especially when it involves human life,” he stressed.

It’s not uncommon to find heavy vehicle drivers involved in accidents testing positive for drugs, and perhaps Wee’s suggestion should be worked on – much focus has been put on drink driving, and rightly so, but drugs are a menace too. A bus ferries many passengers and a big truck can cause plenty of damage due to its size. We’ve looked at this topic in-depth before, discussing the regulations, maintenance requirements, enforcement and driver aspects of heavy vehicle accidents – read more here.

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