For second month, Bulgaria’s road deaths fall

April 2020 was the second consecutive month to see a significant decrease in the number of deaths and injuries in serious accidents on Bulgaria’s roads, according to provisional figures from the Interior Ministry.

As at the end of April 30, the number of deaths on Bulgaria’s roads in 2020 was 107, a total of 34 fewer than at the same date in 2019, the Interior Ministry said.

The number of people seriously injured was 1403, down from the 2195 reported at the same time last year.

The number of accidents, however, was slightly up, from 1744 as at April 30 2019 to 1760 as at April 30 2020.

Bulgaria is currently in a State of Emergency, voted on March 13, because of the Covid-19 global pandemic. Restrictions on intercity travel came into effect on March 21.

Public attention to the state of driving on Bulgaria’s roads was revived by the April 19 death in an accident in Sofia of television journalist Milen Tsvetkov, who died after a car collided at high speed with his while he was waiting at a traffic light.

The driver of the other car is in custody. Prosecutors allege that he had used illegal drugs before taking to the wheel. Bulgaria’s ruling majority has responded to Tsvetkov’s death by saying it will propose legislation steeply increasing the penalties for driving after using narcotics and alcohol.

The most recent official figures released by the European Commission show that in 2018, Bulgaria had the second-highest road fatality rate in the European Union, after Romania.

(Photo: Jason Conlon)

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