Driving Instructors Protest
Driving instructors from across the country with more than 400 cars joined a protest on January 14 in the centre of Sofia against a plan for new rules for conducting driver training courses.
From midday they blocked the traffic on Tsar Osvoboditel bulevrad in the section between Rakovski street and Dondukov boulevard.
At the rally, they adopted a protest statement, which was first presented to the Ministry of Education and then to the Minister of Transport, Rosen Zhelyazkov.
The driving instructors demanded that an Order issued by the Minister of Education, Krasimir Valchev on November 15, be lifted. It provides for increase of driver training hours from 31 to 42.
In addition, they do not agree with the requirement of the new Order according to which the instructors should be photographed with the learners before each hour of driving and after its end. They strongly oppose the installation of GPS devices in driving school cars to track traffic routes and hours of practice.
After nearly a half-hour meeting with the protesters, Deputy Education Minister Tanya Mihailova said that Krasimir Valchev's order could not be cancelled, as it was not currently in effect before the transport ministry adopted the new ordinance with the new rules for training learner drivers. As for the number of practice hours, she said that this topic will still be discussed.
The Road Safety Institute NGO also stood behind the demands of the driving instructors. The Head of the Institute Bogdan Milchev told BNT that Bulgaria is currently one of the few EU countries with the largest number of driver training hours required to qualify for a license, BNT reports.
According to him, the problem is not in the training process, but in the control during the practical examination. He also joined the protest group, which met with the Minister of Transport and the Deputy Minister of Education.
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