High Spirits

May 14, 2010 (AFP) – Almost one in three Sri Lankan private bus drivers smokes marijuana or drinks alcohol before work, operators said Friday after a study into the high rate of road fatalities on the island nation. “We did a survey of buses operating in Colombo and found that about 30 percent of drivers smoked ganja or consumed liquor before operating their vehicles,” Private Bus Owners’ Association president Gemunu Wijeratne said.

He said some bus drivers were even addicted to heroin, blaming them for the high rate of accidents.

“We have asked the police… to step up detection because these drivers have given private buses a bad reputation,” Wijeratne said.

More than 2,200 people were killed in motor accidents last year in a country with just over three million vehicles.