Urban environment and safe urban mobility; road traffic safety training; marking and signalling; use of seat belts and child seats – these are the four strategic themes included in road traffic safety policies in 2020. They were presented and discussed at a meeting of the State Public Consultative Committee on Road Safety, chaired by Malina Kroumova, Chairperson of State Agency “Road Safety”.

“Road safety themes are comprehensive. While we will of course continue to work on all aspects related to road safety, we are looking at those to become a strategic priority of the institutions and NGOs involved”, stressed Malina Kroumova at the meeting. In her words, this would enable a coordinated effort in areas that could reduce the number of road injuries and fatalities in our country in the short and medium term.

More than half of all road fatalities and injuries in Bulgaria occur in the territory of populated areas. Therefore, State Agency “Road Safety” identifies urban environment and safe urban mobility as strategic themes. The area is key not only at the national but also at the global level. The most recent global summit in Stockholm discussed that the global trend of having an increasing number of people in cities poses new challenges to traffic safety.

Meeting participants agreed on the importance of continuing to improve the training in road traffic safety. The acquisition of a driving license is just one step of the entire training in being road users, which should start from the earliest age. It is for this reason that the inclusion of this area in the focus of policies in 2020 was also one of the consensual proposals tabled at the meeting.

The condition of road marking and signalling can be a prerequisite for road accidents and, therefore, mechanisms for its continuous improvement should be sought. In addition, institutions and NGOs will also focus their efforts on informing society of the importance of wearing seat belts not only on front, but also on rear car seats. The analysis of road accident statistics shows that an average of 100 lives per year could have been saved if drivers and passengers had fastened their belts. At the same time, children are most frequently victims of road accidents as passengers. This determines the importance of their parents being informed and aware of the importance of the correct use of specialized child car seats.

The meeting was attended by Deputy Interior Minister Stefan Balabanov, Deputy Minister of Education and Science Tanya Mihaylova, Deputy Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Angel Popov, Deputy Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Valentin Yovev, representatives of institutions, NGOs, academia, etc.