Bulgarian police announces heightened patrols over Easter holidays

Bulgarian police will step up their presence on major roads and all locations likely to see an inflow of visitors during the six-day Easter holiday, the Interior Ministry said on April 28.

With Eastern Orthodox Good Friday falling on May 3 this year, in between Labour Day (May 1) and St George’s Day (May 6), the Cabinet has declared the entire period between May 1 and May 6 a public holiday.

As in previous years, such an extended public holiday would result in heightened police patrols and more checks by traffic police on the country’s major roads, the head of the traffic police department of the National Police Directorate, Anton Antonov, said.

The Interior Ministry warned motorists to expect possible congestion on E-79 national motorway, which links capital city Sofia to southwestern Bulgaria and the Koulata-Promahon checkpoint on the border with Greece. Similarly, congestion was to be expected at the Danube Bridge between Rousse and Giurgiu in Romania.

“There must be patience in all road stretches undergoing repairs, especially where work is underway on both directions of the road,” Antonov was quoted as saying.

Police patrols will carry out checks for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as well as driving without a licence, not only on major roads, but in villages and on country lanes, he said.

Border checkpoints too will work at full capacity, with increased police patrols in areas near the border. If necessary, additional personnel may be called in and traffic may be diverted to other checkpoints. The Koulata-Promahon and Rousse-Giurgiu checkpoints, which handle the bulk of the traffic to Greece and Romania, respectively, are expected to see the most traffic.

Increased police protection will be on hand at places of worship, while fire-fighting crews will be on heightened alert, the ministry said.

In Sofia, to ease the expected exodus on April 30, the traffic lights on major thoroughfares that handle the bulk of incoming and outgoing traffic will be operating in “green wave mode”, ensuring continuous traffic flow out of the city.

These thoroughfares are Tsarigradsko Chausee Boulevard, Tsar Boris III Boulevard, Filipovsko Chaussee Boulevard in Lyulin borough and Slivnitsa Boulevard. On Botevgradsko Chausee Boulevard, traffic congestion is to be expected because of ongoing repairs, the ministry said.

(Photo: Klearchos Kapoutsis/flickr.com)



The Sofia Globe staff

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