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Drug Testing

August 26, 1986

This letter is prompted by your article (Aug. 15), "RTD to Study Mandatory Drug Testing."

Drug testing only deals with the surface problem. A great number of RTD drivers work under significant emotional stresses. Within the past few years I have treated drivers who were victims of verbal, physical and even sexual abuse from some passengers and non-passengers. The last driver I saw was subject to daily rock throwing at her bus on part of her route. Someone eventually took a shot at her bus with a rifle.

I am not suggesting that all drug use is due to emotional stress. I am sure, however, that it could at least be one of the reasons.

To deal with one of the probable underlying reasons, the abuse of bus drivers, it is important for the Southern California Rapid Transit District board and the management to provide adequate protection for the bus drivers and to pay attention to their emotional needs.

JOHN W. WONG MD

Los Angeles

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