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HomePOLITICSBANGLADESHDope test for drivers will be free of corruption?

Dope test for drivers will be free of corruption?

Dope tests have been made mandatory for professional drivers to obtain and renew their licenses from January 30. Without this dope test they will not get a driving license. The initiative is extremely good and will help reduce road accidents. But the question is, how much preparation is there for that? And the big question is whether the drivers know about it.

There are 9 main causes for road accidents in Bangladesh. At the top is reckless driving. The main cause of reckless driving is identified as driver addiction. According to various surveys, more than 90 percent of professional drivers are involved with drugs. Some of them are addicted to drugs and some of them are directly involved in drug business. The drivers themselves have admitted the poison of drug addiction. However, their excuse is that the drivers and transport workers become addicted to drugs due to the environment and the surrounding conditions. Some people claim that if you want to drive a long distance car at night, you can’t go without it.

There are about 20 lakh professional drivers in Bangladesh. There are no official statistics on how many of them are addicted to drugs. However, in a seminar conducted by the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BISS) in 2016, it was said that a survey of 500 drivers had shown that 98 percent of the drivers were involved in drugs. Then think about the situation.
Talking to the drivers, it is learned that in addition to domestic alcohol, they are mainly addicted to cannabis, yaba and phencidyl. And the effects of these drugs are not temporary. Addicts have long-term physical and mental effects. As a result, those who are professional drug addicts are not physically and mentally fit to drive. In the same seminar of BS, it was said that drug addicted drivers are responsible for 30 percent of road accidents. BRTA, Drug Control Department officials and transport leaders were also present at the seminar.
The BRTA directive on dope testing states that from January 30, dope testing is mandatory for professional motorists to obtain and renew new licenses. To get a license, you need to submit a drug-free certificate through a dope test. Otherwise a new driving license will not be issued or renewed.

Six hospitals have been identified for the dope test in Dhaka. Apart from this, dope tests can also be done from any lab or institution approved by the Department of Narcotics Control across the country. Hospitals in Dhaka are: Dhaka Medical College Hospital, National Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Reference Center, National Institute of Mental Health and Hospital, National Chest Disease Institute and Hospital, National Orthopedic Hospital and Kurmitola General Hospital.
Due to this dope test, it will cost an additional 900 rupees to get or renew the license of professional drivers.

But the drivers are not yet aware of the BRTA directive. Talking to the drivers, it is learned that there is no publicity among the transport owners and workers about this. Even transport owners who know it think they have doubts about whether it will be effective from January 30 because of Corona.

And some transport workers’ leaders think that if the dope test is suddenly introduced without publicity, the suffering will increase. The honest intentions with which this is being done may not succeed. Driving licenses can add a new dimension to corruption.

I fear that too. That is why we often see news of various corruption irregularities in driving licenses in the media. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the promotion of this system and getting the dope test certificate properly. Otherwise, there can be corruption in two ways. Firstly, from where the certificate will be taken, secondly, from the point of view of those who will give the license after seeing the certificate. We have to have confidence in the designated government hospital. But I have an objection to getting the certificate from the lab or institution with the approval of the Department of Narcotics Control. Because we all know about their approved drug rehabilitation center.

The six government hospitals mentioned have limited dope testing. As a result, they do not seem to be able to cope with the pressure of the drivers. And the private labs and institutions that have been talked about will take that opportunity. And here is the biggest fear.

What will happen to those who have a license?

This dope test policy is being applied to new driving licenses and license renewals. But why would anyone who has a license and has not had time to renew stay out of a dope test? The BRTA, however, wants to test occasionally like a campaign. But that would be a ‘kit test’. This test will detect alcohol. But laboratory tests are needed for other drugs. BRTA does not have that system. However, they need a mobile laboratory. I don’t know when his arrangement will be. And the campaign is random sampling. So those who have a license should also be brought under dope test. My suggestion for that is that the next three to six months can be fixed.

Those who have a license must submit a dope test certificate within this period in order to maintain it. Those who are addicted to drugs should be suspended for a period of time without canceling their license. If they are drug free within that period, their license will remain valid, otherwise revoked.

The BRTA thinks that those who obtain and renew their licenses will have to undergo a dope test. But my point is, to make it easier, the BRTA needs to launch a massive campaign right now with employers, workers and social organizations. Be aware. We have to run anti-drug campaign. Then everyone will be inspired. The government has a directive to arrange dope tests in government hospitals across the country. The faster it is, the better.

BRTA will take the dope test certificate online directly from the institution. And the customer will also get a copy. But the man behind the instrument is always important. So if transparency is not ensured, everything will be ruined.

Author: Journalist.

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