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Hard times for young drivers

Date: 07.11.2008

Interior Minister Mihail Mikov proposed series of measures aimed at bringing the number of road incidents caused by drivers with less than a year of experience down, Bulgarian-language Dnevnik daily said on November 6 2008.

Mikov told reporters after the weekly meeting of the Cabinet that the ministry wanted to impose some limitations on motorists who have less than one year of driving experience because the statistics showed that they accounted for much of the road accidents. 

One of the idea is such motorists to have less than the usual number of points on their account. Currently all motorists are issued with 39 points, which they lose every time they are caught violating traffic laws. The number of lost points depends on the traffic violation. Once all points are lost the motorist has to take the driving test again.

What Mikov wants is to give freshmen not 39, but 26 points which presumably will make them more cautious on the road. If these motorists don't commit a violation in their first year of driving they will get the full number of points.

Another more radical idea is to ban young motorists from driving at night between 11pm and 6am when visibility is low. Furthermore, young drivers could be asked to move with a speed 10km lower than the speed limit. How this could be monitored by traffic police Mikov did not say.

What he did say was that these limitations were not that severe and were not a form of discrimination. However, he said that a debate was needed on the issue. “We just want to remind people that they need to be careful while gaining experience behind the weal”, he was quoted as saying by Dnevnik.

Mikov's proposals will be discussed with ten days by the Cabinet and then sent to Parliament for adoption.

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