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06.11.2014

Using the APIA, the journalist Tzvetan Todorov from “People's Voice”, a Lovech newspaper, managed to collect, analyze and publish information on the status of railway crossings on the territory of Lovech region. His interest in the subject was triggered by a lawsuit concerning an accident with a disabled person, who, while trying to pass through the only nearby railway line crossing, which was closed and left without maintenance by the Bulgarian State Railways, saw his electric scooter fail just before the train passed. At the last moment he managed to move himself away from the line, but the train wrecked his vehicle. Following the incident the man remained immobilized for over a year because he could not get around without his scooter and therefore sought compensation before the court for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.

 

On this occasion, the journalist decided to request official information on the status of the crossings in Lovech region through access to information requests made to the competent institutions – the “Railway Administration” Executive Agency and the National Company “Railway Infrastructure”. The answer showed that for the last three years the incidents in the area are 11, but also that this is not the actual number, i.e. the official data are not complete. Of all the crossings in the area (31) only eight are equipped with automatic three – light systems with flashing light, while in the meantime no crossings had been closed. The provided information elucidated some of the problems associated with this topic, but it is up to state institutions to react, since it is in their powers to take measures to prevent accidents. Dozens of people living near the railway line in Lovech (and not only there), are still forced to cross it at unregulated crossings at their own risk.

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