This once again shows how bad Bulgarian drivers are. The mental attitude to many Bulgarians behind the wheel is aggressive to say the least. Then there are the drivers who should have never passed their test in the first place on medical grounds (eyesight being the prime reason). Mobile phones being used whilst driving are the norm here. The answer? Make the Bulgarians pay for their undisciplined driving. Will this make them better drivers or just as bad but poorer?
Bulgarian Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov has disclosed the latest alarming death toll on the country's roads. According to the survey, statistics show that 1000 people are killed every year on Bulgarian roads and well over 10 000 injured, of whom 30 per cent are maimed for life. Tsvetanov revealed those numbers on September 1, as reported by the Focus news agency.
The survey was conducted under a 2008-2010 memorandum for cooperation and understanding signed by the two countries' Interior Ministries.
Tsvetanov said that more than 39 000 people in the European Union are killed every year in traffic accidents. In Bulgaria alone, for every one million people, 131 people are killed. This puts Bulgaria in 21st place in Europe.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands is rated as the second safest country to drive in, with a mere 43 deaths per million people.
"There are serious challenges facing the government – how will it tackle the problem. Everyone will have to pull actively together in this regard if we are to alleviate the situation," he said.
Tsvetanov also said he wanted to implement the Dutch model of issuing fines to drivers who had committed traffic violations. In the Netherlands, drivers must first pay the fine. Only later can they then appeal against it. Should they fail to pay it inside six months, the penalties "are severe".
"This is a strategy which will be considered for Bulgaria. There is no point in raising fines in this country when you can't even collect them in the first place," he said.
"We have to tackle the element of corruption as well, as when the penalties are increased, so is the potential for illegal practices," he said.
Tsvetanov also said that one of the reasons for the high number of road accidents on Bulgarian roads was the Bulgarian mentality, "Our experience shows that the moment Bulgarian motorists leave Bulgaria they become very discipline drivers and obey traffic rules of the respective country".
For the period 2001-2008, safety conditions in France, Luxembourg and Portugal have witnessed the most dramatic improvements, whereas in Romania and Bulgaria they have actually deteriorated.