| The Police and Traffic Police in Bulgaria are
numerous, and invariably are polite, courteous and helpful
and expect a similar response from the visitor and motorist!
Also, Police officers are learning English,
with many already
|Trucks and Buses
wearing of seat belts is compulsory / The alcohol limit is 0.3/1000!
Be aware that in Bulgaria the Traffic Police (KAT) maintain a very
high presence on all roads. There is an on-the-spot fine system for
traffic infringements such as speeding (50-100 Leva), drinking and
driving, not wearing seat belts, not having the correct documents
i.e., personal identification, driving licence, vehicle registration,
and vehicle insurance, etc. Also, the Police may stop the motorist
simply to check that the correct documents are being carried.
Urban speed limits are strictly enforced and these limits extend from
when the motorist 'enters' the village or town by driving past the
name sign (even if no buildings are present!) until they drive past
the similar sign with a red bar through it at the other end of the
village or town! Speed restrictions on non-urban roads and Motorways
are very well sign-posted and they also are strictly enforced. However,
not infrequently the end of the speed restriction may not be so well
Bulgarian's tend to drive close to the nearside to allow overtaking,
and you should always allow the driver behind to overtake, even when
you may consider it unsafe for them to do so!
CAUTION - Always leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle
in front as the overtaking motorist will usually "cut in"
sharply in front of you, especially on "blind bends"!
Be particularly vigilant when driving at night, especially in rural
areas where there may be horse-drawn carts without lights. These can
be almost 'invisible' in the lights of an oncoming vehicle!
In the event of an accident the Traffic Police should be called immediately
(KAT; Tel. 665 060) and a report prepared. This can be a lengthy procedure
and is essential for any insurance claim.
There is a 24 hour roadside assistance service available and it is
probably best to contact the central despatch office in Sofia where
English is spoken (Tel: 02 980 33 08). Towing charges are approximately
1 to 1.6 Leva / km.
At many city intersections you will be accosted by street kids wanting
to wash the car windows. A Lev is sufficient payment!