The road death toll in Bulgaria for the first 10 months of 2019 is 516, according to provisional figures cited by the Interior Ministry.
This is 16 more than the figure at the end of October 2018, compared with confirmed figures for that point last year.
This is the first time in 2019 that a month ended with a road death toll higher than that at the same point in 2018. The Interior Ministry said that in October 2019 alone, the number of road deaths was 70.
In the first 10 months of the year, there were 5602 accidents on Bulgaria’s roads. Apart from the dead, a total of 7092 people were injured. In October, there were 606 accidents, leaving 725 people injured.
In 2018 and 2017, Bulgaria had the second-highest road death toll in the European Union, with Romania in first place. For some years before that, Bulgaria’s road death toll either was the highest in the EU or equivalent to that of Romania.
Summer 2019 saw increased police enforcement of road traffic laws along stretches of Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast with high accident rates. The month of November sees the launch of the traditional annual “Operation Winter”, directed at improving road safety, including in part checking whether vehicles’ tyres, headlights and braking systems meet statutory requirements.