The Festive Season holiday period has seen record violations of the speed limits on Bulgaria’s roads, with one motorist in Sofia being clocked at driving at 172km/h in a 50km/h zone, Traffic Police said.
The motorist is to be fined 1500 leva (about 750 euro) and a three-month driving licence suspension, a briefing on January 3 was told.
In Bulgaria’s Danube city of Rousse, a motorist was caught driving at 147km/h, while near the town of Sliven, one was recorded as travelling at 238km/h. The latter motorist was fined 1550 leva.
In Vidin, a motorist was fined 900 leva for driving at 142km/h in a 60km/h zone.
Commissioner Maria Boteva of the Traffic Police told the briefing that the main reasons for car accidents in Bulgaria were reckless driving and speeding.
Figures for December 20 to January 1 showed that 477 motorists were caught drink-driving. Of this total, 216 had blood-alcohol levels past the threshold that they will face charges in court, rather than an administrative fine.
The highest blood-alcohol level was found in a motorist in Kurdzhali, who was behind the wheel while six times over the legal limit. His blood-alcohol level was tested after he collided with several cars.
A total of 107 motorists were found to be driving after having consumed illegal narcotics.
The number of road accidents over the December 20-January 1 period was 58 higher than in the same period of 2018/2019.
The Interior Ministry called on motorists to exercise caution because the next few days would see an increase in Romanian cars in Bulgaria, as Romanians make their way home from resorts in Bulgaria and Greece. “We have to be tolerant, we have to help these people make their way home too,” Boteva said.
This coming weekend is expected to see heavy traffic as people who extended their holidays take to the roads home. Traffic police will be seeking to ease traffic congestion, and stepping up enforcement against speeding and drink-driving, the briefing was told.
Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency said that the second half of the weekend was forecast to see weather condition likely to produce icing of the roads, and called on motorists to ensure their vehicles were ready for winter conditions. Sufficient road-cleaning machines had been mobilised, while motorists could expect partial temporary closures of roads while cleaning operations are carried out, the agency said.