More than 400 cars blocked a central part of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia on January 14 as driving instructors protested against new regulatio
Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations

Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations

Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations

Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations

Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations

Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations
Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations
  • 2020-01-14 14:35:05 1 months ago
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More than 400 cars blocked a central part of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia on January 14 as driving instructors protested against new regulations they say will aggravate corruption and do nothing to promote safer driving.

The cause of the protest was a new order by Education Minister Krassimir Vulchev increasing the number of driving hours required to qualify from 31 to 42 hours, and a plan to install video and GPS devices in driving school cars.

The stated aim of the latter move is to prevent falsification of a candidate driver’s experience by providing a record proving that the learner driver clocked the hours required.

The protesting driving instructors argue that the increase in the number of driving hours required is simply a means to boost the profits of certain companies, when what is really needed is reforms to the system of driving licence examinations to eliminate the possibility of corruption.

The protesters presented a declaration to the Ministry of Education and to the Minister of Transport, Rossen Zhelyazkov.

After a 30-minute meeting with representatives of the protesting driving instructors, Deputy Education Minister Tanya Mihailova said that Vulchev’s order could not be withdrawn, as it was not currently in effect and would not be until the Transport Ministry adopted a new regulation on driving lessons.

The Institute for Road Safety NGO backed the protests, with the head of the institute, Bogdan Milchev, telling Bulgarian National Television that Bulgaria was among a small number of EU countries that the highest requirements for the number of hours driven to qualify for a licence.

Milchev said that the problem was not in the process of driving lessons, but in control during the practical examination.

The most recent official EU statistics, for 2018, show Bulgaria as having the second-highest road fatality rate in the EU. In recent years, various changes to rules for driving lessons and procedures for examinations have been legislated.

(Screenshot via BNT)

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Bulgarian driving instructors protest against new regulations

Protest of driving instructors blocks downtown Sofia

Protest of driving instructors blocks downtown Sofia

A national protest by driving instructors blocked the central streets of the capital city of Sofia. Protesters have adopted a statement demanding stopping the planned increase in driving hours from 31 to 42 and the introduction of GPS controls in vehicles. Representatives of the driving instructors met with Minister of Education Krasimir Valchev and Minister of Transport Rosen Zhelyazkov.


Ocean Temperatures Hit Record Highs

Ocean Temperatures Hit Record Highs

Over the past 10 years, ocean temperatures hit record highs.

In 2019, water temperatures in the oceans at depths of up to two kilometers were 0.075 degrees higher than the 1981-2010 average, Deutsche Welle reported.

Over the last ten years, ocean temperatures have reached record levels since the 1950s, while the figures for each of the last five years have been the highest since the beginning of records. This is stated in a study prepared by an international team of experts of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

According to these data, in 2019 the water temperature in the oceans at depths of up to two kilometers was 0.075 degrees higher than the average from 1981 to 2010. In this case, the warming of the oceans is accelerated by climate change. The warming of the oceans, in turn, is leading to floods, droughts, forest fires, as well as severe sea storms.

The researchers used the relatively new methods of the Chinese Institute.

“The oceans are really what tells you how fast the Earth is warming,” said Prof John Abraham at the University of St Thomas, in Minnesota, US, and one of the team behind the new analysis. “Using the oceans, we see a continued, uninterrupted and accelerating warming rate of planet Earth. This is dire news.”

He said global warming is a real process, but humanity can influence it and slow its pace. Abraham, however, indicated that the oceans would take a long time to respond to change.

“We found that 2019 was not only the warmest year on record, it displayed the largest single-year increase of the entire decade, a sobering reminder that human-caused heating of our planet continues unabated,” said Prof Michael Mann, at Penn State University, US, and another team member.