Bulgaria deploys extra police as road accident numbers rise

Additional police are being deployed to areas of Bulgaria that have high road accident rates, following a recent increase in accidents, a briefing on December 14 was told.

Interior Ministry chief secretary Ivailo Ivanov said that since the start of 2019, a total of 594 people had died in accidents on the country’s roads, nine more than at the same time last year. He said that 8100 people had been injured in road accidents so far this year.

Bulgaria has the second-highest road accident fatality rate in the European Union, according to official EU statistics.

Interior Minister Mladen Marinov said that in the past two days, the road situation had worsened and a trend of an increasing number of accidents had been observed. This necessitated further steps, including the deployment of police from teams that otherwise had been scheduled to be off duty.

The announcement was made at a briefing on a new co-ordination centre involving the police, the firefighting service, Motor Vehicle Administration Agency and the Road Infrastructure Agency.

The purpose of the unit is to ensure prompt responses to accidents. However, it would not take away the functions of the emergency telephone number 112. Staff of that service would pass on reports to the co-ordination centre.

The centre began operations two months ago and its effectiveness already had been proven in several incidents in recent days, Marinov said.

Staff at the centre will monitor in real time sections where roads are being repaired. If there is congestion, the Interior Ministry will send additional police.

The centre was able to access the databases of all institutions, including to check whether a motorist had a valid driving licence and a record of previous offences.

The public could send in videos of motorists breaking traffic laws so that Traffic Police could intercept them, the briefing was told.

(Photo: Interior Ministry press centre)



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