October 2012 is pedestrian safety month in Bulgaria, a meeting of government officials and public representatives decided on October 2, according to the Interior Ministry.
Pedestrian deaths are at the top of road fatalities in the country. In capital city Sofia, which has among the worst road death statistics in the European Union, pedestrian crossings and bus stops have been identified as the most likely places for people to be killed or injured in traffic accidents.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, presenting statistics for recent years, said that there had been a steady decrease in the number of road deaths and injuries in Bulgaria and the country wanted this trend to continue.
According to Interior Ministry statistics, from January 1 to August 31 2012, there have been 4247 serious road accidents inBulgaria, in which 372 people have died and 5186 injured.
In the same period of 2011, there were 490 deaths and 6088 injuries. January to the end of August 2010 saw 600 road deaths and 5988 injured. In the first nine months of 2009, 663 people died in road accidents and 6572 injured, while over the same period in 2008, 761 people were killed and 7527 were injured in traffic accidents.
Tsvetanov said that the reduction in the number of deaths and injuries resulted from campaigns specifically aimed at protecting certain groups, notably children.
The committee said, however, that in spite of the improvement in figures, most traffic accidents in Bulgaria involving pedestrians were preventable, having been caused by reckless driving, careless behaviour by pedestrians and shortcomings in the safety of road infrastructure.
(Photo: Michal Zacharzewski/sxc.hu)