Chaos Rains in Bulgaria over Drivers with Lights Off

Society | August 8, 2012, Wednesday // 12:44|  views

Until now lights had to be kept on during the day only from November 1 to March 1. Photo by BGNES

There isn't a courtesy period for drivers in Bulgaria, who fail to turn on their lights during the day, the traffic police warn.

"If we offer such courtesy period, we will violate the law. It clearly states that it is effective immediately. The Act passed by the Parliament specifically postulates that the change is effective since the day of its publishing," representatives of traffic police are quoted saying by the Bulgarian Monitor daily, despite their earlier statements that they might extend the courtesy period all the way to the end of August.

Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, the Focus news agency cites Chief Inspector, Ivo Kirilov, Head of Unit 1 of Traffic Police, informing that the fines will be imposed beginning Saturday, August 11. He explains that the law gives the option for immediate sanctions, but until Saturday policemen will only issue warnings.

The new legislation, which obliges drivers to have their lights on day and night year-round, came into force Tuesday after it was promulgated in the State Gazette.

Drivers who do not stick to the rule face fines of BGN 50.

Until now lights had to be kept on during the day only from November 1 to March 1.

At the beginning of November every year the traffic police used to start the so-called "lights on" road checks, issuing tickets to drivers who forgot to turn their lights on and/or chose to ignore the legal amendments, adopted in the summer of 2006.

There was a courtesy period, however, with just warnings given during the first 8 days of the check, which lasted until November 21.

During this period traffic police was also on high alert for drivers with malfunctioning windshield wipers blades and worn-out tires.

The new rule has triggered a wave of protests in Internet forums in Bulgaria, which are overflowing with messages of condemnation.

Drivers believe the new legislation seeks to bring more fines to the budget, force them to buy more petrol and equip the local police with a nice new tool for racketeering.

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Tags: Bulgaria, drivers, lights, warning, fines, sanctions, traffic police, courtesy period


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