Four zebra crossings in Sofia were renewed today as part the national campaign of Postbank for the restoration of crosswalks. Anthony Hassiotis, CEO of Postbank, Minko Gerdzhikov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia for Finance and Economic Activity, Lyubomir Hristov, Deputy Mayor of Sofia for Transport, and Krasimir Kostov, Chief Inspector at the Traffic Police Department, symbolically cut the ribbon to open the first restored crosswalk and launch the long-term initiative. “Cross Safely” is carried out in partnership with the Traffic Police Department.
“By starting the “Cross on safe with Postbank” campaign we want to bring attention to a very important cause – the safety of all of us on the roads”, said Mr. Hassiotis who presented the main idea behind the project. “We are all participants in street traffic – either as drivers, passengers or pedestrians which is why it is extremely important to be more careful and responsible to ourselves and others. We should cross only at the designated places and drivers must give priority to pedestrians on crosswalks. I would like to express my gratitude to the Traffic Police Department for their devoted work and cooperation to our mutual cause – to reduce the crossing accidents on the roads.”
“Postbank’s idea to take on the problem of accidents involving pedestrians is right on target. Pedestrians, in particular the elderly and children, are most at risk. One third of all road accidents in Bulgaria involve pedestrians. In autumn and winter three out of ten fatalities on the roads are pedestrians. Overall the percentage of accidents involving pedestrians in Bulgaria is significantly higher compared with the other European countries. Still many people cross when the light is red and do not use the designated places to do so. People of all ages should consistently be made aware of the risks: when walking on the street you need to adopt a protective behavior and wear reflective vests whenever they have to,” said Krasimir Kostov. “The renewal of crosswalks which will be done within the life-saving “Cross Safely with Postbank” campaign is extremely valuable. When the crosswalks are visible and there is proper signaling and marking, drivers become more disciplined and tolerant to pedestrians,” he added.
The lack of marking at pedestrian crossings and inattentiveness are among the main causes of accidents. “Cross safely with Postbank” is a long-term project of the bank aimed precisely at restoring the old crosswalks and increasing the vigilance of pedestrians and drivers.
Postbank, together with the Traffic Police Department, have additionally printed an information booklet with tips on road safety and accident prevention. The booklet will be distributed in the network of Traffic Police Department and Postbank branches.
The first stage of the campaign in Sofia will be the renovation of crosswalks on Vasil Levski Blvd and Fridtjof Nansen Str, Knyaz Alexander Dondukov Blvd and September 11 Str, Praga Blvd and Dospat Str as well as Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd and November 15 Street. Crosswalks will be renewed in Varna, Stara Zagora and Vratza. The program will be gradually included more cities and walkways.