10 December 2021 | Sofia, Bulgaria
Through 2021, experts from the European Center for Transport Policy (ECTP) have actively participated in the work of various ministries and interdepartmental groups to improve the legislation and policies related to transport and road safety in Bulgaria.
Main efforts have been focused on carrying out systematic, objective and independent inspections of the condition of the road infrastructure. Thanks to the technical assistance provided by the company 3M, a high level of depth and accuracy in the analyses was achieved. In this sense, more than 20 targeted road safety inspections on sections of high-risk roads were carried out. For the first time in Bulgaria, a real control of the condition of the newly laid road markings and road signs was completed. ECTP efforts led to chronic problems such as placing a lower class on the reflective surface of signs on individual roads to be corrected and improved. Also, the control exercised over road markings and with the active assistance of the media has helped raising public awareness about the need and understanding required to invest in higher class materials and better quality.
During this period, the most tragic road accident in Bulgaria happened on the 23rd of November with 44 dead citizens from the Republic of Northern Macedonia on the Struma Motorway. The ECTP was recognized by the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria as a partner with which to cooperate and to prevent similar tragedies in the future. In this regard, ECTP´s efforts have also aimed at strengthening cooperation with experts from the Republic of Northern Macedonia, to ensure transparency as independent organizations in clarifying the causes of the incident. The guiding principle in the work under such situations is collegiality and mutual respect. In the long term, the ECTP will strengthen its cooperation on common policies related to transport and road safety issues with other neighbouring countries.
Next year, it is planned to increase the intensity of the inspections carried out, and as well, looking for good practices from other colleagues from the region and the EU. As a result of the ECTP’s activities, more and more local governments are seeking help and support from the organization and its partners. Within the next year, ECTP is planning to strengthen cooperation with municipalities. As well, the European knowledge and technical assistance is expected to be provided by the ERF.
In words of Diana Russinova (ECTP Director) “we believe that our most important common goal must be to tell and show the truth, the whole truth and only the truth, in order to reduce the number of dead and seriously injured in Europe and to move successfully towards Vision Zero”.
*The European Center for Transport Policy (ECTP) is an independent non-governmental organization based in Bulgaria. Part of its mission is to develop plans, strategies and concepts aimed at improving transport safety infrastructure.