LTFRB-13 orders drug test on bus firm’s drivers

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BUTUAN CITY – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board in Caraga Region (LTFRB-13) has ordered the mandatory drug testing of all drivers and conductors of Bachelor Express, Inc. here (BEI-Butuan), following what the agency characterized as drug-fueled road accidents.

LTFRB-13 OIC-Regional Director Maria Kristina E. Cassion also directed the company to conduct motor vehicle worthiness inspection of its entire fleet.

Cassion also required all the BEI-Butuan drivers to undergo the Public Utility Drivers Academy Program (PUDAP) refresher course on road safety.

The company’s bus conductors, meanwhile, were directed to undergo the Basic Information Training on the Role of Conductors in the Public Transportation Industry.

“Last February 7, they (BEI-Butuan) had two conductors caught peddling drugs in a buy-bust operation and then we have these series of accidents involving their drivers,” Cassion said in a statement Thursday.

At least two of the company’s buses were involved in traffic accidents in Butuan City on Feb. 6 and Feb. 9 that killed a motorcycle driver.

On Feb. 8, the Butuan City Police Office (BCPO) arrested two conductors of the bus company and seized some 20 grams of shabu worth PHP236,000.

“This is why we want to impose mandatory drug testing to weed out possible drug users, as well as the conduct of roadworthiness check of their bus units, as these would affect the safety of our passengers if left unchecked,” Cassion said.

The PUDAP refresher courses, she said, will remind the drivers of the importance of safe driving to avoid road accidents, and basic customer services to achieve optimum satisfaction of their passengers.