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What are the bike laws in Poland?



erininwarsaw 5 | 3    
7 May 2010  #1

The other day, in Wilanow, I noticed a policeman giving a written ticket to two bicycle riders. They were on a sidewalk (not sure where they were riding when stopped) on Wiertnica, which is a large/fast road. Does anyone know the bike laws in Poland/Warsaw? Any clue what they might have been writing the ticket for?


1jola 14 | 1,893    
7 May 2010  #2

If you are drunk on a bike, you will lose your driver's license, if you have one. If you ride on sidewalks you will get a ticket. If you don't obey traffic laws, you will get a ticket. Of course, some of my friends have excellent bikes and enjoy riding on the tracks in front of the tram on the Poniatowski bridge. If you're bored and brave, or reckless, you can join them.

Have you noticed how pedestrians obey the traffic lights? I have been ticketed for jaywalking; there were three cops to give me the ticket. :)
mephias 11 | 305    
7 May 2010  #3

If you ride on sidewalks you will get a ticket

Really good that some of the Policemen has ignored me while riding on sidewalk.But in the area I lived they are always empty, still they can charge for it ?. Cycling paths are around 2 km from my flat, And I don't want to risk riding on regular roads since I can't count on all drivers (especially some bus and taxi drivers).
1jola 14 | 1,893    
7 May 2010  #4

Bike paths are increasing all over the city, but we all use sidewalks as the street traffic can be dangerous in places. It would be very unusual to get a ticket, but legaly possible, and at that point it is best not to argue, because you might just be a victim of patrolman's ticket quota. :)

When I was ticketed for jaywalking, the first thing they told me was the range of fine they are allowed to impose. It was all friendly and routine, and it went something like this: If you argue, it's 150 zł, if you don't, it's 80 zł. The choice was clear.
Wroclaw 45 | 5,409    
7 May 2010  #5

don't ride across a zebra crossing on a bike... get off and walk.

well that's the law, but i've only been stopped twice for breaking it. and didn't get a fine.

if the police/city police want to be awkward they can check things like lights and bell etc.
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
7 May 2010  #6

If you are drunk on a bike, you will lose your driver's license, if you have one.

The law is an ass. There is only one remedy - to wear cycle gear and a helmet and not to entertain the police.
They've eyeballed me a few times but that was because I was going 60 in a 40 zone :)
As to "drinking and riding " when the law is ridiculous (PIS again I believe) you just have to blatantly ignore it. There was some talk a while back of a 1000 cyclists going on the **** for a couple of beers in Wroclaw and then cycling em masse through the centre waving their driving licences.

Of course, this being Poland, people chickened out, afraid to put their heads above the parapet for such a "small" liberty as the right to enjoy a couple of pints when out for a picnic :((

My blood boileth over.
1jola 14 | 1,893    
7 May 2010  #7

As to "drinking and riding " when the law is ridiculous (PIS again I believe)

You believe wrong. Anyway, do you think drunks belong on public roads?

Edit:

Oh, I'm sorry, you do.

you just have to blatantly ignore it.

frd 7 | 1,399    
7 May 2010  #8

Supposedly you are not allowed to ride your bike on the sidewalk at all. Most of the cops turn a blind eye to that. What they are rather strict about is as someone mentioned riding your bike through the pedestrian passage ( from one sidewalk to the other one )....

As for drunk bike riding, if you're the passanger and not the driver of the bike you won't have any problems. Tested.
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
7 May 2010  #9

You believe wrong. Anyway, do you think drunks belong on public roads?

Edit:

Oh, I'm sorry, you do.

Me and hundreds of thousands of others believe that there is nothing wrong with cycling on a country road or through the forest or on cycle paths after a couple of summer beers.

Get off your high horse. We don't see such a ridiculous law in other countries. Priorities are completely wrong. Here in Poland you have a 24 penalty points system for maniac drivers - you'd have to be mental to be ever banned under that "system." It is far too lenient and encourages madmen to get away with kamikaze driving.

And all the while your proud police are told to lower themselves to the sad levels of lying in wait for some poor cyclist who's stopped off for a couple of Tyskies after a forest ride.

You couldn't make it up, and this law shouldn't be tolerated by any sensible cyclist.
As before, the cycle "law" in this country is a disgrace!
frd 7 | 1,399    
7 May 2010  #10

Get off your high horse. We don't see such a ridiculous law in other countries. Priorities are completely wrong. Here in Poland you have a 24 penalty points system for maniac drivers - you'd have to be mental to be ever banned under that "system." It is far too lenient and encourages madmen to get away with kamikaze driving.

That system isn't that bad, what's bad is fines should be scalable to ones earnings. Rich and poor get the same amount when receiving a ticket. Hence whoever is rich can take the liberty and not care, and then do the thing agian.
1jola 14 | 1,893    
7 May 2010  #11

Get off your high horse. We don't see such a ridiculous law in other countries.

And you know laws in how many countries?

Me and hundreds of thousands of others believe that there is nothing wrong with cycling on a country road or through the forest or on cycle paths after a couple of summer beers.

Every drunk pulled over has only had a couple beers, and hundreds of thousands believe they are safe on the road while pissed.
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
7 May 2010  #12

That system isn't that bad, what's bad is fines should be scalable to ones earnings. Rich and poor get the same amount when receiving a ticket. Hence whoever is rich can take the liberty and not care, and then do the thing agian.

Frd - you've just contradicted yourself. So the rich can pay the bribes or whatever, and the system isin't bad? . 4 points or 8, whatever. 3 offences like that in a year and you're banned, after the year your history is wiped, and most of the time you can bribe your way out of it.

Another way round it also is to drive on a UK licence....... Wouldn't work for a dinking and driving ban of course but UK licences cant have points awarded. Anybody care to correct me if I'm wrong on that?

Every drunk pulled over has only had a couple beers, and hundreds of thousands believe they are safe on the road while pissed.

Pulled over lol. The boys in blue would have to pull me off my bike, and seeing as I know how to ride her they would have to shoot me to get me to stop. The fact that I don't drink has got nothing to do with it.

It's a stupid law concocted by PIS against cyclists and needs pi ssing on.
1jola 14 | 1,893    
7 May 2010  #13

Doug, you broke the brews for the ride back:



It's a stupid law concocted by PIS

Who told you this?
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
7 May 2010  #14

Very funny mate. But PIS laws are for Wiesniaks - most of us who like a picnic beer live in the towns and ride to keep fit and for pleasure. Not the same animal as this chap.

Anyway, for most, who drive sensibly, such a chap is not a problem - you can just drive around - unless you doing the mad 140 km an hour on a country road that is :(

Are you saying that PIS or their ilk did not concoct this law? It's new, but not that new...Surely Platforma have better things to do with their time than harass people?
frd 7 | 1,399    
7 May 2010  #15

Frd - you've just contradicted yourself. So the rich can pay the bribes or whatever, and the system isin't bad?

No I haven't. I meant the points system, not the whole law.
1jola 14 | 1,893    
7 May 2010  #16

Are you saying that PIS or their ilk did not concoct this law? It's new, but not that new...Surely Platforma have better things to do with their time than harass people?

Article 178 is from year 2000, but I think it was in effect earlier. PiS was in government for a short period of time starting 2005. So either the communists or SLD brought this law about. What Ziobro(PiS) wanted was stiffer penalties for drunken drivers(it had nothing to do with cyclists) and I think you will agree that was a good thing. Holiday statistics confirm this is a huge problem. I don't drive to my parents graves on All Saints weekend because I don't want to join them yet.

PIS or their ilk

It is for sure the communists or their ilk (their ilk being SLD and their friends now called PO).
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
7 May 2010  #17

We are in agreement here Jola - All Saints Day is outright dangerous.
And of course drunk drivers can expect what is coming to them. But I object to cyclists who drink responsibly being categorised together with drunk drivers. A fine maybe would be called for on occasion, but a driving ban?

I don't think so. This law should be repealed.
Jojo12    
8 May 2010  #18

If you are going to get drunk, just leave your bike ine the house. Go on foot. Like a car. Is it that difficult?
cheapsgate    
8 May 2010  #19

Oh like you are are really going to kill someone going a half a mile per hour on a bike.! It is easy money for the police, why should you lose your drivers licence because you have been caught drunk driving on a bike. Maybe it is the same in the uk. I don't know, but is seems pretty unfair.
Jojo12    
8 May 2010  #20

It is easy to make someone else to kill you. Get him into lots of trouble. Too many times I have seen cyclists driving all over the road, zigzagging in front of my car.
delphiandomine 80 | 15,689    
8 May 2010  #21

Another way round it also is to drive on a UK licence....... Wouldn't work for a dinking and driving ban of course but UK licences cant have points awarded. Anybody care to correct me if I'm wrong on that?

Yes, it's actually connected with your PESEL. The system works on the basis of your PESEL number being used to identify the driver, hence why you go to the police to get a copy of your driving record rather than to the driver licencing office. Same reason why your PESEL is on the Polish licence.

As for the police picking up on the fact that you have a PESEL - I've heard reports that they are able to access residency information over the radio - so they'll know if you have a PESEL or not. Certainly for non-EU citizens, they will have the number on the Karta Pobytu - which the police will undoubtably want to see. EU citizens is a different story - and I don't know for certain if they can link the points to your personal details (the Germans can, I know this) if you don't have a PESEL.

So - a British licence is no defence if you have any sort of paper trail in Poland.
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
8 May 2010  #22

ertainly for non-EU citizens, they will have the number on the Karta Pobytu - which the police will undoubtably want to see.

But the Karta Pobytu is no longer legal proof of ID - it doesn't actually exist other than as a relic for EU citizens. When a foreigner is behind the wheel or has to ID himself he has to produce his passport - this doesn't have any Pesel information of course - and the Bill didn't ask for such info when giving mme 4 points for not wearing a seat belt.

Therefore I reckon the 4 points never found it's way to my (UK) licence.

Specially as my current licence was issued in 1983 :)

Oh like you are are really going to kill someone going a half a mile per hour on a bike.! It is easy money for the police, why should you lose your drivers licence because you have been caught drunk driving on a bike. Maybe it is the same in the uk. I don't know, but is seems pretty unfair.

Nope - no such law in the UK - A sensible country with a proper perspective on some matters, just as Poland is also sensible on some matters where in the UK you would get hung out to dry.

UK law - you can be "drunk in charge of a bicycle." Instant fixed penalty of 80 quid or soemthing.....
delphiandomine 80 | 15,689    
8 May 2010  #23

But the Karta Pobytu is no longer legal proof of ID - it doesn't actually exist other than as a relic for EU citizens.

Of course it exists - it's still being issued to all non-EEA/CH citizens. Effectively, it is good enough to act as ID - how many foreigners are really carrying around their passports?

When a foreigner is behind the wheel or has to ID himself he has to produce his passport - this doesn't have any Pesel information of course - and the Bill didn't ask for such info when giving mme 4 points for not wearing a seat belt.
Therefore I reckon the 4 points never found it's way to my (UK) licence.

There's no guarantee that it didn't - you need to check this with the local police station to see if there's any points recorded against the PESEL. You can't be certain that it didn't get linked somehow - it's quite elementary to link your personal details to the PESEL number.
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
10 May 2010  #24

OK - thanks for the warning. Maybe I should consider giving the police a little more credence, specially as they're reading this.
sobieski 109 | 2,132    
26 May 2010  #25

Dougpol2:
But the Karta Pobytu is no longer legal proof of ID - it doesn't actually exist other than as a relic for EU citizens.

Of course it exists - it's still being issued to all non-EEA/CH citizens. Effectively, it is good enough to act as ID - how many foreigners are really carrying around their passports?

I am Belgian, live more as five years here and so got my Karta Pobytu replaced (it expired last year) by a flimsy piece of paper which is supposed to be your Permanent Residence Permit. And on that one most definitely the PESEL is mentioned. On the old Karta Pobytu it was not.

Back to the original thread, does anybody know if wearing reflecting (these bright yellow) jackets after dusk is compulsory? I heard a rumour about that one some time ago, but actually nobody is doing that.
Basil 1 | 8    
26 May 2010  #26

You can ride bicycle on the sidewalk if all of the conditions below are satisfied:
1. There is no dedicated bicycle path.
2. Sidewalk is at least 2m wide.
3. The road speed limit is higher than 50km/h

You should always yield to pedestrians.

If not, ride on the road.

Source:
http://www.wrower.pl/prawo/index.php#Chodnik
Dougpol2 1 | 76    
26 May 2010  #27

It's interesting that the opposite applies in the Czech Republic. Where there are bike lanes provided, as in Karvina for example. you must use them. If you cycle on the road you are busted.

Confusing........
Cardno85 31 | 969    
26 May 2010  #28

You should always yield to pedestrians.

One of the things I hate about walking about the centre on a nice day. Bloody cyclists going fast winding inbetween pedestrians without a care. I have lost count of the amount of times I have almost been hit or have seen others get hit.

I have no problem with them being on the pavement, just if they would take a bit more care when it is busy then I would appreciate it.
nickyspaghetti 2 | 14    
15 Dec 2010  #29

The laws in Poland regarding cycling unfortunately don't take into account the fact that cycle lanes are erraticly and illogically placed.
I know many places where to ride legally I would have to transition from cycle path to road 10 times to go 2 km. Clearly I have a choice - cycle the whole distance on the road, ride on the pavement(which is usually sufficiently wide to have the cycle path continue on it, why it doesn't, I don't know) or deal with the transitions.

I usually choose the road even though I have to put up with drivers arguing that I should be on the cycle path!

Sometimes there are outright ridiculous parts, for example a shared use path that starts just before a bus stop. Or a cycle path sign that is placed at head height intruding into the cycle lane. You really have to be stupid to design this - or not have a clue about what cyclists really need.

Now it is winter I have even more issues - the cycle paths are either not cleared, or overrun by pedestrians. The roads are sometimes safe, but more often than not there are parts that are too risky, so you are forced to ride in places on the pavement.

What would happen if I hit a pedestrian walking on a cycle path that had been cleared, whilst the pavement alongside hadn't. Is the council liable for 'forcing' pedestrian to use the cycle path, or am I liable because common sense indicates that a collision with a pedestrian is a risk?



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