KUALA LUMPUR: The National Anti-Drug Agency (Nada) is targeting for zero involvement of bus drivers with drugs, especially during the Aidilfitri festivities this year.

Nada deputy director-general (operations) Datuk Izhar Abu Talib said based on records, drug abuse among bus drivers is on a downward trend in the last five years.

According to him, a total of 3,227 bus drivers had undergone urine screening tests during an integrated operation in conjunction with Aidilfitri last year, and only 15 of them tested positive for drugs.

“We hope this year we will be able to achieve the goal of having zero bus drivers involved with drugs.

“Accidents arising from bus drivers under the influence of these drugs do not only jeopardise the safety of passengers but also other road users,“ he said when contacted by Bernama.

Izhar said methamphetamine drugs such as syabu were often chosen by drivers as they could increase energy levels and were easily available.

He said among the factors which caused bus drivers to get involved with drugs were the working environment, the influence of co-workers, the work pressure and a past history of addiction.

“Although they use the excuse (for using drugs) of wanting to increase their energy levels and getting rid of drowsiness in order to meet the tough bus schedules, it is still a very irresponsible act,“ he said.

He said Nada conducted integrated operations with the Road Transport Department and the police prior to the Aidilfitri celebrations every year at over 30 major bus stops nationwide. — Bernama