Bulgaria starts special operation to enforce use of seat belts

Bulgaria’s Traffic Police are conducting a special operation from June 4 to 10 to check the use of seat belts by drivers and passengers, as well as the use of crash helmets by motorcyclists, Inspector Petar Stoilov told a briefing.

Since 2014, Bulgarian law requires seat belts to be worn by rear seat passengers as well as front seat passengers.

This is the latest in a series of special operations in recent weeks. One from May 9 to 11 was directed against dangerous driving, from May 13 to 20 against speeding, and one from May 29 to 31 was focused on Bulgaria’s smaller towns and villages.

Stoilov said that the during the May 29-31 operation, 25 380 vehicles were inspected and a total of 19 629 breaches of road laws were found.

A total of 110 people were caught drink-driving and 8951 were caught speeding. There were 916 cases of failures to wear seat belts or crash helmets, 20 motorists were caught driving after using illegal drugs and 156 motorists were caught driving without a licence, he said.

In comparison with this time last year, road fatalities in Bulgaria were down by 45. There had been 448 fewer accidents and the number of people injured was lower by 601, Stoilov said.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, intercity travel restrictions were imposed in Bulgaria between March 20 and May 5.

According to European Union statistics released in April 2020, Bulgaria has the second-highest road death toll in the EU. Principal causes of accidents include speeding, dangerous overtaking and drink-driving.

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