On 29 June, we celebrate the National Road Safety Day. It is an initiative of State Agency “Road Safety” and today, a number of events and initiatives are planned to focus the public’s attention on the problems of road safety. All of them are carried out under the slogan “Life has priority on the road”.

This year, institutions have been focusing on four key topics related to road traffic safety: 1) Dangers of using mobile phones while driving; 2) Speed; 3) The importance of using a safety belt; 4) Urban safety and, in particular, pedestrians’ safety. For each of them, uniform visions have been developed and provided for free use to regional administrations, municipalities and other institutions, NGOs and companies. Using joint efforts, they will be disseminated throughout the country along with messages for more tolerance and safety on the road. In the situation of a global pandemic, this is one of the approaches to raising people’s, and in particular passengers’ attention to the topic, without initiating events that would gather a multitude of attendees.

Along with this, a number of municipalities and organizations have planned additional initiatives to mark 29 June. In Veliko Tarnovo, activities in kindergartens, open lessons in schools, and a children’s competition will be held. Vratsa is hosting an exhibition dedicated to road safety and the district will hold lectures with school goers. An exhibition and an open-air competition titled “Keep the rules as in the game”, and a number of events in schools in the district are being organized in Gabrovo. In Kardzhali district, a presentation will be organized on the topic “Life has priority on the road!”, and information materials with thematic messages will be disseminated among candidate drivers. Lectures with children and school goers are being organized in Kyustendil district. In Pleven, there will be a demonstration of first-aid administration, and competitions, presentations, contests, exhibitions, etc. are being organized. Urban transport vehicles in Ruse will display messages for more safety and tolerance of the road, and interactive games for children will be organized. Remote lessons are being held in Targovishte to present videos prepared by teachers teaching road traffic safety, and exhibitions of drawings on the topic will be put together. These are just few of the events planned across the country, as activities continue throughout the week.

Many of the initiatives focus on children and young people for a reason. According to the WHO, crash injuries worldwide are the leading cause of death in the age group from 5 to 29 years. A top priority for State Agency “Road Safety” is to improve traffic safety training, starting at an early age and continuing over the years. The message to young people who have recently got their driving licenses and those who are about to do so is not to overestimate their own skills. “Your lives are ahead of you, do not put them at stake to please someone or prove something to yourself. It is not worth it, and the consequences can be fatal”, says the message of the organizers of today’s events.

Road traffic safety day has been celebrated for the second time in our country. In 2019, by decision of the Council of Ministers, the date 29 June was set as the single date for our country. The aim is, at the beginning of children’s summer vacation and before the many trips in July and August, to focus the public’s attention on road traffic safety.

On average, the months of July and August see the most accidents with road fatalities and injuries – over 1,400 crashes per year. One reason for this is the increased foreign traffic in our country during this period. Therefore, a national day was set to plan and implement a number of initiatives for safer and tolerant traffic, just before the period of the increased number of trips related to summer holidays.