The high summer season saw a decrease of about 20% of traffic accidents in the districts of Dobrich, Varna, and Burgas compared to the same period of last year. This became clear during a meeting of the District Road Safety Commission in Varna that convened to analyze the summer months and the effectiveness of prevention measures taken before the summer. A similar meeting took place in Burgas last week.

Today’s meeting was chaired by Varna District Governor Stoyan Pasev, and was attended by State Agency Road Safety Deputy Chairperson Anjelina Toteva, representatives of municipalities, institutions involved, etc.

“The number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians continues to be high in Varna District, which shows that more measures are needed to calm the traffic in the settlements”, Anjelina Toteva said. In her words, this topic was also highlighted in the previous season, and additional measures will be requested from the municipalities in the region with a focus on the district center. Nearly 50% of fatal incidents during the summer season were with pedestrians, traffic police reported. Single-vehicle accidents also account for a significant share. “Fatigue and distraction continue to be the main factors for the occurrence of such accidents with a single vehicle, so it is very important to work consistently to increase drivers’ self-consciousness and to improve infrastructure safety systems because such risky behavior is difficult to influence, using control”, said SARS Deputy Chairperson.

A good example of the effectiveness of preventive measures taken is the additional signaling at kilometer 9 of the Varna – Dobrich road (in the area of Bair Bashi) – an accident black spot in the past years. After signaling letters from the Ministry of the Interior and SARS, the Road Infrastructure Agency has placed sound markings and additional signaling. This, together with constant traffic police control, has yielded results and this year, the section is no longer a black spot, as the meeting showed.

“It is up to all of us to change the negative trend and enhance road safety”, said District Governor Stoyan Pasev. He urged municipalities for more active involvement in the subject and insisted that working municipal road safety committees be established to all local authorities in the region. “You are the people on the ground and you know what the problems are; let us, together, indicate the critical points and look for solutions. Without personal commitment and activity of each of us, we cannot achieve our common goal”, added the District Governor.

“The region of Burgas has reported an increase of head-on collisions between two vehicles, which is a very worrying trend,” she said. It was emphasized that despite the increased control, speeding and risky manoeuvers in increased traffic remain major problems during the busy months. The meeting discussed that while accommodation in Black Sea resorts saw a decline, traffic was extremely intense, and tourists used mostly their own vehicles rather than public transport. Against this background, the reduction achieved in both road accidents and road trauma is a good foundation that needs to be built on.

Today, a State Agency Road Safety team is providing training to Varna District Road Safety Commission members. During this month, representatives of all regions in Bulgaria go through a similar briefing, which aims to strengthen the role in traffic safety policies at the local level. All other trainings are conducted online and the only attendance training is that in Varna, precisely because of the specificity of the district and the traffic intensity in the region.

In the summer months of 2020, 195 road accidents with injured people occurred on the territory of Varna District, killing 6 and injuring 241 road users. Accidents with material damage totaled 471, nearly 100 less compared to the previous year. Overall, 515 road accidents have occurred since the beginning of the year, accounting for more than 50% reduction in road fatalities and a 70% reduction in road injuries in the region compared to last year.