As part of the effort to curb drunk-driving, the state government said it had administered breath analyzer on 2,500 commercial drivers in the state, to check their blood alcoholic content. It also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, (MoU) with an international liquour brewer, to sensitize the public on the negative effect of drunk-driving.
The state Commissioner for Health Dr. Jide Idris, yesterday revealed the results of the test. He said at least 441 commercial drivers in the state tested positive to cannabis also known as marijuana and cocaine in the screening recently conducted on 2,500 of them. The drivers were also screened on substances abuse, hypertension, diabetes and vision impairment.
“So far, we have screened 2002 drivers with the following results obtained: 781 were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol; 601 were found to be hypertensive, and 441 were positive to psychotropic drugs, especially cocaine and marijuana.
Also, 940 were screened for visual impairment and 13 per cent had to to be given special glasses,” Vanguard quoted him as saying.
He said the exercise was conducted at Alaagba Motor Park, Iyana-Ipaja between September 4 to 12, 2012, and Under Bridge Motor Park between September 18 to 19, 2012.
Idris noted that the state government had no option than to invoke section 21, subsection 1 of the state traffic law which prescribes a conviction fine of N100,000 or two years imprisonment or both on the offenders.
Considering the unruly way most commercial bus drivers drive in Lagos, this test result comes as no surprise. However, the question now is what is the solution? With 781 of them driving under the influence of alcohol and 441 testing positive to cocaine and marijuana, it presents a bleak picture for the public transportation system in Lagos state and a risk to themselves and the passengers who ride in their vehicles.