School drivers: Drug-testing on the spot

Nesmahar Sayed , Thursday 25 Nov 2021

FDCTA testing of school drivers continues for early detection of drug abuse

Drug rehabilitation in Egypt

FDCTA testing of school drivers continues for early detection of drug abuse. Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine Al-Qabaj said: “During the first two weeks of the academic year, 900 bus drivers were tested and those who use drugs are facing serious consequences.”  In fact, 12 drivers tested positive for drug use and were charged with driving under the influence of drugs.

Al-Qabaj, who is also chairperson of the Fund for Drug Control and Treatment of Addiction (FDCTA), unveiled the results of drug testing of school bus drivers conducted by the Early Detection Committee. Some 900 drivers were tested in the first two weeks of the 2021-2022

academic year in Cairo, Giza, Assiut, Al-Beheira, Marsa Matrouh and Sohag, and results showed that 12 drivers used drugs, namely hashish and Tramadol. Those who tested positive were charged with driving under the influence.

Qabaj said the early detection testing campaign of bus drivers will continue through joint work groups between the FDCTA, the Traffic Department, the Drug Control Department, the General Secretariat for Mental Health, and the Central Department for Security at the Ministry of Education. Drug testing takes place at school buildings, and those who test positive are referred to the public prosecutor to face criminal charges.

FDCTA’s Director and Assistant to Minister of Social Solidarity Amr Osman said 35 spot testing campaigns for school bus drivers have taken place so far. The tests are suddenly and occur throughout the academic year for bus drivers in many governorates. Legal steps are taken against drivers who test positive for drugs, and testing will also expand to drivers at private universities and higher education institutions, as well as private and public school drivers. There is a special focus on governorates with private schools with buses that transport students.

Osman explained that the Ministry of Education is informed of positive test results in order to take action, namely dismissing the driver and reporting them to the police to face criminal charges of driving under the influence. He added that Hotline 16023 continues to receive complaints from concerned parents and families who suspect that school bus drivers are on drugs while driving.

Key signs that a driver on the road is using drugs are red eyes, black circles under the eyes, poor personal hygiene and appearance, short tempered or very slow cadence, bad coordination, very fast or slow driving, as well bad judgment of distances.

FDCTA is also continuing its campaign to test government employees, in compliance with directives from the president and cabinet, and in coordination with relevant institutions and agencies.

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