The number of road incidents involving cyclists in Bulgarian capital city Sofia has increased by 30 per cent so far this year, compared to 2012, the head of the traffic police in the city, commissioner Bogdan Milchev said on August 26.
Speaking on the breakfast show of Bulgarian National Television, Milchev did not give any further details on the number of traffic incidents involving bicyclists, nor, indeed, how many had been caused by bicyclists.
Among the most frequent violations recorded by police were riding in the wrong lane, riding without a light-reflecting vest or missing other necessary equipment on their bicycles, Milchev said.
So far this year, the traffic police in the Bulgarian capital city has fined 102 cyclists, he said. Fines ranged from 10 leva to 50 leva (about 25 euro).
“The traffic police in the city of Sofia is not against cyclists; quite the opposite, we think that a bicycle is a very good and useful means of transportation, one that is both healthy and environmentally clean,” Milchev said.
Nevertheless, cyclists needed to be more knowledgeable about the traffic regulations to prevent road accidents, he said. “When the cyclists are on the road lane, all the regulations in the Traffic Act apply to them and their bicycles have to be technically sound,” he said.
Since the start of 2013, a total of 49 cyclists have been injured in traffic accidents in Sofia; fortunately, none of them fatally, Milchev said.
The traffic police in Sofia have been paying closer attention to cyclists this year as the use of bicycles as transportation means is estimated to have increased by about 150 per cent. In June, the traffic police said that it would carry out checks throughout the summer to inspect the condition of bicycles, whether bikes are fitted with reflectors and whether cyclists are complying with the rules of the road.
(Photo: Michal Zacharzewski/sxc.hu)