Inspectors in HCM City on January 23 stopped two truck drivers for using drugs after testing 23 drivers at Cat Lai Port. The Cat Lai transport police team in coordination with District 2 police step up inspections to stop coach and truck drivers from drinking alcohol or using drugs. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Provinces and cities nationwide have stepped up inspections to stop coach and truck drivers from drinking alcohol or using drugs.

The move follows a series of deadly accidents involving truck drivers who tested positive for alcohol and drugs.

The latest case happened in Hai Duong province on January 21, which left eight people dead and injured seven others. The accident occurred when the truck slammed into pedestrians walking on the side of National Highway 5A in Kim Thanh district.

The driver was later tested positive for methamphetamine. He admitted that he was drowsy at the time of the accident and had used meth.

Hanoi’s Department of Transport has decided to revoke the business licence of the company that owns the truck.

Earlier this month, a container truck hit 21 motorbikes waiting at a red light in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, killing four people and injuring 18 others. The driver tested positive for heroine and alcohol.

Hanoi’s Department of Transport has instructed all transport businesses test drivers and dismiss all those who test positive for drugs, according to the deputy director of the department, Vu Ha.

Random tests for truck drivers have been taking place since January 9, and many have been fired for using drugs.

The Department of Transport in HCM City has also been working with local traffic police to test drivers at coach stations.

Any driver found to have been using alcohol or drugs would have their license revoked, according to the department.

Inspectors in HCM City on January 23 stopped two truck drivers for using drugs after testing 23 drivers at Cat Lai Port.

Earlier this month, an interdisciplinary inspection team in Thu Duc district caught 17 drivers using drugs after testing 200 motorbike and truck drivers.

Deputy director of the department Tran Quang Lam said that inspectors would also increase inspections along roads leading to the city.

Traffic police in Long An province have carried out inspections across the province and assigned inspectors along highways around the clock.

In the Mekong Delta provinces of An Giang and Vinh Long, traffic police and transport officials have started to crack down on drivers who violate traffic regulations.

The Traffic Police Department under the Ministry of Public Security said a nationwide inspection would be carried out on trucks and coaches with over eight seats from now until the end of February, focusing on drivers drinking alcohol and using drugs.

An inspection team on January 21 checked random truck drivers along Phap Van-Cau Gie Highway, the southern gateway to Hanoi, and stopped one truck driver for using drugs. The driver was transporting fruit from Long An to Lao Cai.   

Vu Anh Tuan, Director of the Viet Duc Traffic Study Centre, said agencies should regularly inspect drivers. Stricter punishments were also needed to deter drivers from violating regulations, he said.

Le Thanh Thao, head of transport firm Quang Chau in HCM City, said that transport businesses did not want to employ drivers that use alcohol or drugs.

Transport businesses need to conduct regular training to warn their drivers to abide by traffic regulations and not drink alcohol or use drugs, according to Thao.-VNS/VNA