CAIRO: A total of 27 (9.4 percent) out of 286 school bus drivers have tested positive for drugs in the first week of an anti-DUI governmental campaign at schools, according to a Saturday statement by the Ministry of Solidarity.
Random drug tests were conducted at 29 private and international schools in Cairo, Giza and Qalubiya. This academic year started at schools across the country Sep. 28.
The positive cases were found abusing hashish, Tramadol and heroin; they were referred to prosecution. The punishment for drivers caught driving under the influence was heightened per law amendments, with those responsible for casualties facing prison terms of up to three years.
The Ministry of Solidarity, which supervises the campaign, provided hotline 08002200022 to receive complaints from parents who suspect drug use in bus drivers at their children’s schools.
The random screening campaign kicked off Oct.4 and plans to test a total of 4,000 drivers at 600 schools during this academic year 2015/2016. Last year, 7 percent of 1,400 school bus drivers tested positive for drugs.
A 2014 crash in which 11 students burned to death is believed to have triggered the government’s attention to monitor the road after the crash involved a truck driver who tested positive for hashish. The government’s escalation aims to reduce road accidents caused by driving under the influence (DUI.)