Following a nationwide screening, the Ministry of Transport has ordered provincial authorities around the country to blacklist 381 the bus and truck drivers who tested positive for drug use until they clean up, news site Dan Tri reported Thursday.
Transport departments in 63 provinces and cities were also asked to forward the names of drivers who tested positive for drug use to police so the latter can keep tabs on them – those who continue to drive, commercially, will have their licenses revoked for two years.
The ministry said the drivers would only be allowed to return to work after they test negative for drug use and have those results verified by local health clinics and state agencies.
According to the ministry, the drug users were discovered among more than 129,000 drivers who submitted to health checks during the past four months.
Another 1,388 failed to meet the department's health standards for other reasons, such as poor vision or high blood pressure, and were disqualified from driving as well.
The transport ministry ordered local health and transportation departments to conduct health checks on over 7,000 drivers who did not take the last test and report their findings by July 15.
The ministry launched a nationwide crackdown on drug use among long-distance truck and bus drivers early this year, following persistent media reports that found many road accidents were related to drug use among drivers.
The northern port city of Hai Phong was the first to take action by sacking hundreds of disqualified drivers (including drug users) in February.
Following the results of the crackdown, Dan Tri reported that transportation officials also asked the Ministry of Health to implement new health standards for bus, truck and taxi drivers, including compulsory drug tests.
Vietnam's high number of traffic accidents slightly reduced in 2013.
Last year, there were 29,385 traffic accidents, killing 9,369 people and injuring about 29,500 others. In 2012, traffic accidents killed 9,424 people nationwide.
Road accidents are not new to Vietnam. Narrow highways, poorly maintained vehicles and drivers' disregard for road safety and traffic rules are often the cause of most fatalities.