Close to four weeks after the Svoge bus crash disaster in which 17 people died, Bulgaria’s Parliament voted on September 14 to make the fitting and wearing of seatbelts in buses compulsory, along with the installation of video recording of trips.
The changes were voted as part of the second reading of amendments to the Roads Act.
The requirement for the fitting of seatbelts will take effect within nine months of the promulgation of the amendments in Bulgaria’s State Gazette. The provision for video recorders will take effect 18 months from promulgation of the amendments.
The requirement for safety belts will not apply to transport vehicles on one-way route of less than 30km.
A carrier who allows the carriage of passengers without seat belts will be liable to a fine of 3000 leva (about 1500 euro), while the driver will face a fine of 500 leva.
Current Bulgarian law provides for a fine of 50 leva for a passenger not wearing a seatbelt.
Investigations into the Svoge bus crash disaster are continuing. The driver faces charges including culpability for the deaths of 17 passengers and the injuries to 21.
(Photo: Alf van Beem)