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Speed Limits and Speeding Fines

DRIVING IN BULGARIA

Speeding can happen to anyone instantly: You drive at 57 km/h through a 50 zone or fail to see a speed limit sign on a country road. Speed limit violations are a mass phenomenon on the road. And there may be speed cameras lurking everywhere. An average new car has more than 120 hp, far enough to reach a speed of 150+ km/h. This can make it tempting to rush or test car limits on the highway. But it may have profound implications, both financial and legal. Speeding is a contributing factor in traffic fatalities in Bulgaria. Speed limits can only help keep you safe. Speed limits are different depending on the type of road and vehicle. Please observe them. The speed limit is the maximum speed you can drive at, which does not mean it is safe to drive at this speed in all weather and traffic conditions. Continue reading below to understand details regarding speed limits and fines in Bulgaria.

Speed limits in Bulgaria

Here is an overview of speed limits in Bulgaria. For cars and vans, the maximum speed permitted in Bulgaria on motorways is 140 km/h; on expressways, it is 120 km/h; on main roads and minor roads outside built-up areas, it is 90 km/h; and in built-up areas, it is 50 km/h, unless otherwise stated by traffic signs. The following are the permitted maximum speeds in Bulgaria (km/h) for all vehicle categories:

* Motorcycles, Passenger cars, Vans with or without trailers below 3.5t.
** Heavy goods vehicles over 3.5t that do not carry dangerous/hazardous materials or goods.
Urban roads: 40 km/h – maximum speed for vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
Non-urban roads: 70 km/h for heavy goods vehicles with semitrailers or trailers (Type O3, O4).
Non-urban roads: 50 km/h for heavy goods vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
Motorways & Expressways: 90 km/h for heavy goods vehicles with semitrailers or trailers (Type O3, O4).
Motorways & Expressways: 90 km/h for heavy goods vehicles carrying dangerous goods.
*** If Busses with trailers driving on Non-urban roads – 70 km/h speed limit.

Speeding Fines in Bulgaria

Driving speed checks

Speed checks are initiated on an ad hoc basis by road patrols from stationary or moving vehicles. Speed can be measured from a parked police car. Fixed speed traps are also in use in the cities and on other roads.

Speed check tolerance and safety margin

A safety margin is deducted from the speed measured in a radar speed check. You may account for a safety margin in the range of 3% to 5%. Safety margin originated from the inaccuracies in the car speedometer, as well as with the measuring device. To be safe, you should account for a zero safety margin.

Fines and penalties applied to speeding and repeat offenses

Comparatively limited fines and administrative penalties apply to serious speeding and repeated offenses in Bulgaria (compared to other European countries):

  • 10 km/h over the limit – BGN 20
  • 11 to 20 km/h over the limit – BGN 50
  • 21 to 30 km/h over the limit – BGN 100
  • 31 to 40 km/h over the limit – BGN 400
  • Over 40 km/h over the limit – BGN 600
  • Over 50 km/h over the limit – BGN 700 and 3 months minimum disqualification, and each additional 5 km/h of speeding adds BGN 50 to the fine.
  • 10 km/h over the limit – BGN 20
  • 11 to 20 km/h over the limit – BGN 50
  • 21 to 30 km/h over the limit – BGN 100
  • 31 to 40 km/h over the limit – BGN 300
  • 41 to 50 km/h over the limit – BGN 400
  • Over 50 km/h over the limit – BGN 600, and each additional 5 km/h of speeding adds BGN 50 to the fine.

If you are caught speeding repeatedly, you can be banned from driving for 6 months, and all applicable fines double their size.

A driver using a device interfering with the instruments used to measure the driving speed of the motor vehicle pays a fine amounting to BGN 50.

Paying Fines and Tickets

All fines can be paid in cash, via bank transfer, through EasyPay outlets, or online at Epay.bg. (you will need to retain and bring the ticket with you). If you pay the penalty on the spot, the police officer will provide you with a payment receipt. By the book, fines above BGN 50 can be disputed. However, chances to dispute a fine are comparatively low if you only visit the country for a short time.

Link to the official Road Police fines resource (in Bulgarian language only)

Know your speed limits in Bulgaria

Using miles to measure distance and mph to measure speed?

View in Miles - Know your speed limits in Bulgar

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