PETALING JAYA: Periodic and random drug tests should be conducted on heavy vehicle drivers on top of heavier penalties to prevent driving under influence, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Transport Minister said the recent increase in road accidents involving heavy vehicles warranted the need for stricter preventive measures.

“Cases of road accidents involving heavy vehicles such as trailers are on the rise. Such incidents also cost the lives of other road users,” he said.

“I feel sad about this and condolences to the family members.”

In a Facebook post yesterday, Dr Wee said that besides imposing heavier penalties on offenders, there was also a need to conduct screening tests on drivers to prevent them from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Through the cooperation of the police force and the National Anti-Drugs Agency, Dr Wee said the screening could be done periodically and randomly at various locations, including the offices of the transport and logistics companies.

He also said that he had instructed the relevant agencies, including the Road Transport Department, Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research and Puspakom to thoroughly investigate road accident cases involving heavy vehicles.

“Effective solutions need to be expedited,” he said. He also called on companies to be fully responsible, especially when investigations revealed that their fleet of vehicles was not properly maintained or did not comply with the rules.

“We do not want such irresponsible companies to get away with it and continue to be greedy and make a profit to the point of neglecting the safety of employees, who are their drivers, and those of other road users,” Dr Wee said, adding that companies must take this matter seriously, especially in ensuring the safety of their employees.

“Laws must be respected and fully adhered to. It is not something that can be taken lightly, especially when it involves human life,” he added.