I have strongly critisised proposals that owners of small transport companies with only a small number of lorries or vehicles on the road would be responsible for testing their own drivers for alcohol and other substances. The criticism came during a debate at the Dail Committee on Transport recently when proposals for new regulations on the road transport industry were being discussed. It was revealed that under the proposals a doctor would have to be called to carry out the random tests on the drivers concerned. It is my belief that the proposal is ludicrous and would impose a further substantial cost on small employers
“I myself did a CPC course and there is a module on alcohol and drugs included in that course and it puts responsibility on drivers themselves to ensure checks are done every morning when they go out on the road and to drive properly and safely and not to drive when under the influence of alcohol. Now, the Department is kicking the ball back to the employer. If a person decides to go to the pub in the nearest town a mile down the road after the test has been done, how does one prove a machine was accurate? Frankly. I cannot believe we are trying to impose this on employers. If my wife is working for me and she goes down the road in a van, there would a responsibility on me to test her. We have not thought this out and we need to think it out much better. There are serious implications for employers here and the Department has not examined all the nuts and bolts of this” he said.
It is important to say that drivers who are taking medication for various medical conditions have nothing to fear from any new regulations that may be introduced. “We have a lot of work to do on this yet. I have looked at the situation in other countries and I can assure you that there are better ways of doing these things other than putting more expense and responsibilities on small local employers”