The national strategy to increase traffic safety over the next decade is ready
Bulgaria’s road trauma levels have dropped by nearly 20% over the past ten years. This was evidenced by the words of State Agency Road Safety (SARS) Deputy Chairperson Anjelina Toteva at the opening of the Safe Road Infrastructure Sixth Annual Conference. The event was organized by the Bulgarian Road Safety Sectoral Association and held in the city of Hisarya.
The 2021-2030 Strategy for Road Traffic Safety in Bulgaria has been developed. The document analyzes the results achieved during the previous decade and sets ambitious goals for the next one. “Our country started at too high levels. For example, in the early 1990s, when cars on our roads were much fewer, road accident victims totaled more than 1,500 per year. While over the years, we have reduced this figure almost twice, this is still extremely insufficient,” Anjelina Toteva emphasized. In her words, it is necessary to achieve sustainability of results because currently, some months still see low levels of road trauma and an increase in road accidents on certain days.
“The key theme is sustainability. Sustainability of measures, decisions, and policies that we implement”, Anjelina Toteva further said and added that this is why the Strategy is as important both as a document, and as something to be implemented in practice. In this regard, SARS envisage that it be supplemented by three-year implementation plans to be updated annually in order to ensure continuous monitoring of results and take any additional measures, where necessary. “Thus, it will not become yet another strategic document but an actual plan with specific steps to follow and update in progress”, she added and emphasized that she hopes this will be a platform for pooling the efforts of all those who want to contribute to increasing traffic safety in our country. “The strategic objectives are common, and the non-governmental sector, individual institutions and society as a whole can also contribute to the actions to achieve them,” SARS Deputy Chairperson further said.
She also drew attention to infrastructure as a key element to enhance road safety. “Whenever there is a human factor, there will be human errors. Therefore, it is so important that we have a forgiving infrastructure designed to preserve lives. In this regard, it is instrumental to transpose and actually implement Directive 2008/96 to extend the scope of road safety audits“, Anjelina Toteva commented and clarified that the transposition texts have already been prepared by the SARS team.
The conference brings together representatives of public administration, NGOs, road safety experts and specialists, as well as owners and managers of some of the largest road construction companies. The forum provides a platform for free exchange of views on issues related to road infrastructure safety in Bulgaria, as pointed out by the organizers from the sectoral organization.