The Council of Ministers, by its Resolution No 775, adopted the National Strategy for Road Safety in the Republic of Bulgaria for the period 2021–2030, as well as an Action Plan 2021–2023 with annexes thereto.
In implementation of Council of Ministers Resolution No 16 of 17 January 2019, State Agency Road Safety (SARS), in cooperation and coordination with the State Public Consultative Committee on Road Safety, developed drafts of the two documents.
For the first time, the Strategy includes a three-year Action Plan. It will be updated on an annual basis, thus ensuring annual monitoring of measures and policies taken to improve road safety.
The strategy paper also reviews the measures to improve road safety implemented over the last decade. Our country achieved a 19% reduction in road traffic casualties and 22% in road traffic severe injuries between 2010 and 2019. No country in the EU was able to meet the overall target of a 50% reduction in road traffic casualties, with an average European rate of reduction for the decade, at 2018, of around 21%.
The Strategy and the Action Plan have been developed taking into account the European Commission’s new strategic framework of 2019, which sets out the focus of pan-European road safety policies for the coming 2021–2030 decade. They provide for the implementation of an integrated system for planning, implementing, monitoring, reporting, control and evaluating public policy on road safety, within a single strategic framework encompassing competent authorities at central, district and municipal levels.
The Strategy integrates the “safe system” approach, according to which while people will make mistakes and may end up in road accidents, the aim should always be to create an environment that is forgiving and capable of mitigating unwanted severe consequences.
To achieve the objectives, a wide range of measures set out in the Action Plan is identified under thematic strands as follows: integrity-based management; socially responsible behavior — lifelong learning; control — effective and preventive; forgiving road infrastructure; vehicles for protection of people; life-saving chain.
The plan integrates the combined commitments of institutions at national, district, and municipal levels, as well as interaction with the civil sector, businesses, research and academic circles in a context of shared vision and broad national consensus. Each impact measure is planned to be implemented within a constructive public debate: when it is recognized, owned, and feasible in the context of the state apparatus, academic knowledge, research and applied science, non-governmental activities, schools, workplace, and family.
In the context of European policy in the field, Bulgaria is committed to working, in the long term, toward “Vision Zero” regarding road fatalities and serious injuries and halving their number by 2030.