Bulgaria Proposes Lowering Highway Speed Limits

The Bulgarian government has proposed a significant change to the country's road traffic regulations, aiming to reduce the maximum speed limit on highways from 140 km/h to 130 km/h. Additionally, the amendment bill seeks to lower the speed limit on so-called public roads from 120 km/h to 110 km/h, according to the "Sega" newspaper.

The rationale behind this move is primarily centered on enhancing road safety. Citing data from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), government officials emphasize that excessive speed contributes significantly to road accidents, with one-third of fatal incidents in the European Union attributed to high speeds. By reducing the average speed by just one kilometer per hour, more than 2,100 lives could be saved annually across Europe, the ministers contend.

Despite highways being designed with safety features such as physical separation and emergency stop barriers, they still witness a significant proportion of fatal accidents. In Bulgaria, motorways have seen a rise in fatalities, particularly following the increase in the maximum permissible speed to 140 km/h in 2012. The proposed reduction aims to address this concerning trend.

Tragically, recent incidents like the bus fire on the "Struma" highway, resulting in the loss of 46 lives, underscore the urgency of improving road safety measures. The government notes that such accidents have heightened public awareness of the need for stricter regulations to prevent further tragedies.

The proposed amendment aligns Bulgaria more closely with European norms, as many countries have already adopted lower speed limits on highways to mitigate the severity of accidents. Notably, Germany, which historically lacked speed limits on most highways, is also moving...

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