BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI AND MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
At least 441 commercial drivers in Lagos State tested positive to cannabis also known as marijuana and cocaine in the screening recently conducted on 2,500 of them.
As part of the effort to curb drunk-driving, the state government said it had administered breathanalyzer on 2,500 commercial drivers in the state, to check their blood alcoholic content even as it 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, disclosed this yesterday, at media briefing on public sensitization of Motor Health and Safety Initiative at Alausa, adding that the drivers were also screened on substances abuse, hypertension, diabetes and vision impairment.
The first phase of 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 added; “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”.
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.