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Common Traffic Violations by Cyclists in Bulgaria

Promoting safety on the roads involves a two-way understanding between drivers and cyclists; here's how drivers can predict and prevent violations by cyclists.

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Bicycle usage is becoming popular across Bulgaria, with many cities promoting biking as a primary mode of transportation. However, some common violations are committed by cyclists, often due to a lack of awareness or disregard for the rules. Here are a few:

Riding on the Sidewalk and Pedestrian Only Zones

This is one of the most common violations. Riding on the sidewalk is prohibited unless it’s designated as a shared space or there’s a marked bike lane.

Ignoring Traffic Signs and Signals

Cyclists must adhere to the same road rules as motorists. This includes stopping at red lights and stop signs, yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks, and following one-way street signs.

Riding Without Lights or Leflectors

In many countries, bicycles must be equipped with front and rear lights and reflectors when used at night or in low-light conditions.

Riding Against Traffic


Riding in the wrong direction, often referred to as “salmoning,” is a violation and a common cause of accidents.

Cycling Under the Influence

Like driving, cycling under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law.

Not Using Bicycle Lanes

Where provided, cyclists are often required to use designated bicycle lanes. Ignoring these lanes and riding in regular traffic lanes can lead to violations.

Riding Without a Helmet

Cyclists (especially children and young adults) must wear helmets!

Failure to Signal

Cyclists must use hand signals to indicate turns or stops, and failing to do so can result in penalties.

Carrying Passengers Improperly

Depending on the jurisdiction, carrying passengers on a bicycle designed for one person may be against the law.

Not Yielding to Pedestrians

Cyclists must yield to pedestrians everywhere, especially in crosswalks and shared spaces.

Cyclists need to understand and abide by local laws and regulations to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

Taking Precautions While Driving

Understanding the behavior of cyclists and taking precautions while driving can significantly reduce the likelihood of traffic violations and accidents involving cyclists. Here are some tips:

Always Check for Cyclists

  • Mirror and Shoulder Check: Check your mirrors and blind spots for cyclists before turning or changing lanes. Cyclists may be faster and closer than you think.
  • Be Mindful of Intersections: Intersections are common places for accidents involving cyclists. Always look out for cyclists when turning at intersections, even if you have the right of way.
  • Watch for Indicators: Cyclists use hand signals to indicate their intentions. Learning these signals will help predict their actions.

Respect Cyclists’ Space

  • Give Space When Overtaking: Give cyclists plenty of space when overtaking them. The recommended distance is at least 1.5 meters (about 5 feet).
  • Don’t Block Bike Lanes: Avoid parking or stopping in bike lanes. This forces cyclists to swerve in traffic, which can lead to accidents.

Anticipate Cyclist Behavior

  • Expect the Unexpected: Cyclists may need to avoid hazards on the road, which can lead to sudden movements. Anticipating these sudden movements can prevent collisions.
  • Slow Down Near Cyclists: Lowering your speed when near cyclists gives you more time to react to any sudden moves they may make.

Educate Yourself and Others

  • Know the Law: Understanding local traffic laws regarding cyclists can help avoid violations and accidents.
  • Spread Awareness: Share this knowledge with other drivers to promote safer roads for everyone.

Remember, the road is a shared space, and respecting all users helps ensure everyone’s safety.

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