The Lagos State government recently screened more than 2,000 motor vehicle drivers in a bid to curb road accidents usually associated with either drugged or drunk driving in the state. Of the number, the state health commissioner Jide Idris said, 441 tested positive to cocaine and marijuana, 781 were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol, while 601 were found to be hypertensive.
This is a serious issue that requires serious attention not only in Lagos but throughout the country. It is a common disease that is afflicting most commercial drivers in the nation's cities. Drug taking and excessive consumption of alcohol in particular have been responsible for the rather avoidable deaths and the maiming of people over the years.
Not only commercial drivers are involved in this negative attitude. Young people, married women and school children do take to drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, "solutions", cough syrups with codeine and such substances taken in excess to get "high". Since it's our able-bodied people and those saddled with the responsibility of ensuring good upbringing of the young ones that are the ones involved in this dreadful behaviour, the effect on the society can only be imagined. Quite a number of these people end up becoming wasted.
Nigerian drivers who take drugs or drink alcohol to excess before going to work are potential killers. Passengers should watch out for them and refuse to patronise them. Security agents should not hesitate to get them arrested and prosecuted for attempted manslaughter. There are potentially lethal effects of drugs on driving performance and intelligence. Public health and policy officials, constituent groups and other concerns must rise up to the challenge of combating these excesses. Presently, our driving laws are either obsolete or inadequate. The federal and state governments as well as the legislative bodies should come up with a workable solution to the menace. With modern technology, it's now easy to determine drug levels in humans.
Other states and the Federal Capital Territory Administration should take a cue from Lagos and stop habits that have continued to kill, maim and derange a substantial segment of our population. Drugged drivers are as dangerous as drug barons and hired killers. They must be smoked out and dealt with using the full weight of the law. The police, NAFDAC, NDLEA and other relevant government agencies should rise up to their responsibilities by bringing these culprits to book. We have had enough deaths on our roads as well as drug-induced assassinations, rape, theft, kidnapping, armed robbery and insurgencies. These negative actions are traceable to the use of all sorts of dangerous drugs.