Drug test all drivers, not just truckies

Photography by: Greg Bush


The authorities and the mainstream media lap it up when truck drivers are targeted in roadside drug-testing. But why not extend the blitz to all motorists?

Drug test all drivers, not just truckies
Car drivers should receive the same drug-testing treatment as truckies, Ken Wilkie says.

 

Owner//Driver regular columnist Ken Wilkie says he is dead-against drug taking, especially when the affected individuals are behind the wheel. What irks him however is the authorities’ obsession with singling out truck drivers for roadside drug tests.

"I watched an ABC news report claiming Queensland Police have detected a significant rise in the number of people driving trucks found to have illicit drug markers in their system," Wilkie says.

"Don’t for one second think that I in any way condone the taking of illicit substances, especially if one is going to drive and more so if one is going to drive a heavy vehicle.

"However, a spokesperson for the Transport Workers Union (TWU) seemed prepared to condone such usage because, in his estimation, the pill poppers where underpaid.

"What a travesty of support for those who don’t take illicit drugs and drive."

Wilkie says illicit drugs seem to be a real problem for society and all drivers, irrespective of the size of the vehicle, must be tested.

"Stop persecuting this industry and take non-discriminatory action against all wrongdoers."

According to Wilkie, the ABC photo grab showed an array of police bikes at the police operation site that one might expect at a drug bust action. He says those in road transport industry management have an obligation to ensure the people they employ receive balanced treatment.

Wilkie believes that people will end up becoming how they are treated.

"I don’t claim tolerance for illicit drug takers, but tolerance and forward thinking is needed to support the good drivers," he says.

Wilkie, an owner-driver since 1974, says truck driving is already a challenging occupation, without being singled out for unfair treatment by the authorities.

"We have to perform – no excuses are tolerated," he says.

"The product consigned by a supplier to a customer has to be delivered. It has to be delivered on time, and delivered in the identical condition as it was when consigned, rain hail or shine.

"It must be delivered under those parameters in spite of us having to do the operation among untrained, unqualified amateurism and all the while being treated by society’s enforcers as second rate citizens," Wilkie says.

 Read more of Ken Wilkie’s view of the trucking industry in the August 2016 edition of Owner//Driver.

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