CAIRO: Some 2000 examiners will be deployed in Fayoum governorate, southwest of Cairo, to carry out testing of truck drivers, announced Egypt’s Anti-Addiction Fund Monday.
The to-be implemented drug driving tests in Fayoum are part of a major campaign sponsored by the government aiming to reduce traffic accidents due to driving under the influence (DUI.)
Egypt has a law combating the phenomenon which has recorded high rates among drivers according to a 2014 survey, which revealed that 24 percent of drivers in the country are under the influence at work. In 2014, Egypt toughened punishment imposed on drugged drivers up to three years in jail.
Subsequently, the campaigns are implemented on a near daily basis by Traffic authorities, under which many drivers who are captured under the influence were referred to the prosecution.
In January, a total of 60,000 examiners were announced to be at the disposal of the General Traffic Administration (GTA.)
A national anti-drug plan is being carried out in cooperation with some 11 ministries; Youm7 quoted director of the fund, Amr Othman, during a workshop held in Fayoum, titles “Drug Abuse and Addiction issues.”
Othman previously stated that a total of 11,000 drivers on highways have been tested, 18.6 percent of whom tested positive.
In cooperation with the Education Ministry, the screening campaign has been conducted on school bus drivers in different governorates since 2014. About 1,500 school bus drivers were tested in the first semester of the academic year 2015/2016, 6.6 percent of whom tested positive, according to Othman.
He said that some 4,000 school bus drivers at 600 schools should have been tested during the academic year.
A 2014 crash in which 11 students burned to death is believed to have triggered the government’s attention to monitor road safety after an involved truck driver tested positive for hashish.
A total of 6,916 car accidents took place during the first half of 2015, with an increase 3.5 percent compared to 6,685 in the same period last year, according to a bulletin by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS.)
Although transport experts blame the crashes on the “lack of safety measures” of Egyptian roads, official reports signal “human error” as a major factor.