Neten Dorji | Trashigang

Two bus drivers, both in their early 30’s, tested positive for controlled substances when Regional Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) officials conducted random drug tests on 31st October.

Both of them tested positive for marijuana.

The authority has suspended the drivers and instructed them not to drive any vehicles until further notice.

According to RSTA officials, a total of 100 public transport drivers had tested for drugs.

“The test are for the safety of passengers and other road users as required in the Road Safety and Transport Act,” said an official.

The mandatory and random testing was carried out as part of pre-departure and post-arrival inspections for bus and public transport on the road.

Assistant regional transport officer with Regional Road Safety and Transport Authority, Karma Dorji, said that the drivers would be referred to the Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA) as per the severity of substance use and provided appropriate intervention.

“The drivers will be suspended until they detox or come clean. Repeated offenders will lose their licence and will be terminated,” he said.

Officials said that the test was carried out not to punish the drivers but to ensure road safety and to provide timely intervention to drug users.

A commuter from Kanglung said that the Authority should conduct more such surprise tests for the safety of the commuters. “Drivers require good judgment and concentration on the road. Drug abuse and drink driving puts everyone at risk.”

Karma Dorji said that the RSTA drug test in the country’s eastern region would be carried out again. “A random testing will be carried out anywhere.”