Public bus drivers to undergo urine tests
In a bid to reduce road accidents, authorities will conduct random urine tests on public transport drivers and staff at Mor Chit, Ekamai and the Southern bus stations in Bangkok.
Tests will also be conducted at 19 terminals across the country, according to the Office of the Narcotics Control Board's (ONCB)'s secretary-general Sirinya Sitdhichai.
"Numerous road accidents -- some of them fatal and many causing injuries -- are caused by drivers who were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time. So, the use of these substances has been responsible for road accidents," said Mr Sirinya at a press conference at Mor Chit bus terminal yesterday.
The event yesterday was the part of the ONCB and other agencies' efforts to campaign against inappropriate alcohol consumption and drug use which tend to peak during the New Year celebrations.
Apart from working with the Department of Land Transport and police in order to reduce road accidents, Mr Sirinya said the office will also team up with military and the police to deal with drug peddling and smuggling which tend to rise as New Year festivities approach.
Mr Sirinya said the ONCB is also working with the military to prevent drug smuggling along the borders, particularly in the North and Northeast, where smuggling is frequently reported.
Checkpoints would also be set up at airports and train stations while parcels will be searched to prevent drug trafficking during the New Year break.
Officers were dispatched yesterday to promote the anti-drug campaign and warn people against carrying belongings on behalf of others during journeys, Mr Sirinya said.
Mr Sirinya said more than 200 million speed pills have been impounded along the border by officials over the past two months, adding the ONCB will focus on intelligence work in its efforts to suppress drug trafficking.
Nakhon Ratchasima Governor Wichian Chantaranothai, who presided over an anti-drug campaign ceremony at the station, said many people will pass through the province during the New Year holidays and that drugs could be smuggled into the province.
Given this concern, provincial authorities are working with the ONCB's Narcotics Control Office Region 4 and other relevant agencies to ramp up the anti-drug campaign during the festive period, Mr Wichian said.
Meanwhile, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration has come up with measures aimed at ensuring public safety during the festive season.
Deputy Bangkok governor Chinnatat Meesuk said all public celebration areas must have effective fire-distinguishing equipment in place.
The second concerns efforts to prevent and ease road accidents by improving road conditions.
The third involves security in those areas set aside for New Year celebrations, he said.
Places where people gather for New Year celebrations must have staff to attend to health problems, Mr Chinnatat said.