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New Polish traffic laws


Dougpol1 32 | 3,296
6 Dec 2019 #1
One hot off the press today.
From today, subject to fines for non-compliance - on a contraflow, cars must now merge one by one, as in, you must let the car next to you into your lane between you and the car in front of you. This seems to be working "OK.." in Katowice tonight , where I am, but is guaranteed to be an abject failure in cities where people are too far up their own arses - Warsaw, Krakow and Tri-City spring to mind....all that will happen is that drivers who through their "status" think they are entitled will zoom down the outside lane and intimidate those in the orderly queue.

In the meantime, the government has NO CLUE as to what to do about the pressing question of pedestrian safety on pedestrian crossings.
mafketis 23 | 8,144
7 Dec 2019 #2
what to do about the pressing question of pedestrian safety

Just last week I was stopped on the sidewalk by a local TV crew asking about that very question. Since I had no desire to be on tv I just gave the flattest most boring answers possible.

As far as accidents go pedestrian safety is a two way street. Yeah, there are lots of bad/crazy/rude drivers around but if you actually look before crossing rather than take it on faith that cars will stop for you a lot of accidents can be prevented.
OP Dougpol1 32 | 3,296
7 Dec 2019 #3
Yes. And where are those weird Pol-Ams who keep saying we know nothing about Poland? Obviously they have never been to Poland, and could care less that their "compatriots" are being killed on a daily basis, because PIS saw how the British design their pedestrian crossings, and infamously came back with "British methods would never work in Poland because our people would not understand them"

I would say lol, if not for the fact that the Highways Department here is so dangerously inept - criminally so, in my book.
Lenka 3 | 1,835
7 Dec 2019 #4
PIS saw how the British design their pedestrian crossings

And how do they work? Because I didn't notice anything special about them....
Ironside 49 | 10,183
7 Dec 2019 #5
he pressing question of pedestrian safety on pedestrian crossings.@ Dougpol1

What do you mean? As far as I know, cars need to stop if there is a person on a crossing.
OP Dougpol1 32 | 3,296
7 Dec 2019 #6
As far as I know

I'm glad you know the rules. No fukker here in Poland seems to. Confusion reigns - which is obviously how they like it.

how do they work?

In the UK - which PIS so totally dismissed as unworkable? Belusha beacons. The big yellow globes? So the driver can cleverly actually see where the damn pedestrian crossings are? Now - isn't that a clever concept. Been around a fair few decades.....

And the crossings are generally well lit, and in logical places. And if the pedestrian puts his foot into the road, the car has to stop - if safe to do so.

Simple, innit?
terri 1 | 1,665
7 Dec 2019 #7
As a pedestrian about to go on a zebra crossing - NEVER assume that the car will stop. Many people are killed when they are half-way on a crossing. It is better to wait and let the car go than demand your lawful rights as a pedestrian and end up dead as a result.
OP Dougpol1 32 | 3,296
7 Dec 2019 #8
when they are half-way on a crossing.

The driver in such a case should go to prison for 5 years. That will help them to concentrate properly. In the meantime, the Highways Agency needs to pull their finger out of their collective arses and get this confusion sorted and get a SAFE conclusion - instead of messing about with contraflows as with the new directive of 6th December.

Rant over - although I would love to meet the fools and tell them exactly what they can do with their abdication of care and responsibility.

It would be painful and they wouldn't be able to sit down for a while - which would be all well and good because they actually need to do something.
mafketis 23 | 8,144
7 Dec 2019 #9
NEVER assume that the car will stop.

Yes, I always wait to see the car is serious about stopping before stepping in front of it. Not everyone does that...
Atch 17 | 3,172
7 Dec 2019 #10
would never work in Poland because our people would not understand them"

They would if there was a proper public information campaign. For God's sake, I remember a hundred years ago in Ireland we had ads on telly explaining things like Pelican crossings etc. But of course PIS would rather throw 500 a month at people than spend a few quid on an advertising campaign to save lives.

And how do they work? Because I didn't notice anything special about them....

Well, did you notice Lenka that when the man is green, the pedestrian has right of way? In Poland, if the cars are turning right, the pedestrian SHARES the bloody right of way with the drivers!!! Works fine if the driver has the common courtesy to allow pedestrians to cross, which I'm sorry to say, they frequently don't. Another clearly observable safety issue with that system is that you frequently see cars speeding up as they approach such crossings in order to get there ahead of approaching pedestrians and 'beat them to it' so they don't have to wait for them to cross.

Also allowing right of way to cars and pedestrians at the same time means that cars on the inside line whose view of the road ahead is obstructed by vans and trucks in the outside lanes, come up the inside lane at great speed while the man is green and proceed with no caution at all, all they see is that they have the green light for turning right. It never occurs to them that pedestrians may be in the act of crossing.

When the man is green that should be the sole right of the pedestrian to use the crossing. That would be a nice start to pedestrian safety in Poland.

In the end it's all part of the terrible, terrible driver education and appalling driving skills of Polish people. It simply cannot be denied because the figures speak for themselves, one of the worst road death rates in the EU.

I always wait to see the car is serious about stopping

I always put my hand up traffic cop style and basically 'command' them to stop. Would you believe it works!
mafketis 23 | 8,144
7 Dec 2019 #11
I always put my hand up traffic cop style and basically 'command' them to stop

I palm wave after they've stopped (I'm not sure if that's a widely understood thing in Poland... but it's automatic and not something I plan).

I used to be able to use my death stare to shame them into stopping... it's hard to describe it's just something I use to do (the shoulder and neck posture were also important), more than one person walking with me was surprised at how effective it was

Where I am more often than drivers are pretty good at stopping for pedestrians, not perfect but a big improvement over even a few years ago. Wwa which is ruder and cruder than the provinces (like almost all capital cities) might be different.
johnny reb 22 | 4,191
7 Dec 2019 #12
Would you believe it works!

Another one that I have used is..... (make sure there are no traffic cams) if they narrowly miss you slap the side of their car when they go bye with a good thump and fall down in the road.

That really gets everyone's attention.
Get up and limp to the side of the road and sit down wincing in pain holding your leg.
The next time the poor sap will give second thought about being a self centered idiot.
A sharped nail works well too.
Atch 17 | 3,172
7 Dec 2019 #13
I palm wave after they've stopped

Oh yes, I give a little salute as a thank you and like you it's an automatic gesture. There's no doubt that we like to have our efforts acknowledged, a little thank you goes a long way towards promoting a nicer culture.

I used to be able to use my death stare to shame them into stopping

I have a version of that too! It involves staring intently at the number plate of the approaching vehicle, usually works. As I don't remotely resemble a policeman, they must think I'm either somebody important or the wife of somebody important :D and that they're likely to be prosecuted if they offendeth me ;)
johnny reb 22 | 4,191
7 Dec 2019 #14
Having your cell phone out when crossing pointing it at their number plate (license plate) and at their front windshield may make them have second thought to know that you could be video taping their rude behavior to be turned over to law enforcement or put on social media for everyone to see.

Does anyone know what the actual fine is for this infraction ?
Maybe it should be doubled and have the proceeds used to buy and install crosswalk cams.
antheads2
9 Dec 2019 #15
IF they put these advertisements on goverment tv and radio then its free. But people are stuck in their ways and sometimes helps if there are polams or polpoms or polozzies in the goverment to make them see things in a different way.
jon357 63 | 15,061
10 Dec 2019 #16
in Ireland we had ads on telly explaining things like Pelican crossings etc.

We had those ads in the U.K. too. Any big change about safety needs a lot of publicity.
mafketis 23 | 8,144
10 Dec 2019 #17
True, but 30 years after the fall of communism and some bad effects linger.... Poles were conditioned to mistrust any information from the government and so public service campaigns aren't so effective. There are no institutions that have the public's confidence and so certain types of publicity are harder to carry off than in countries unburdened by the PRL past.
johnny reb 22 | 4,191
10 Dec 2019 #18
How much is the fine in Poland for not stopping if a pedestrian is in the crosswalk ?
Doubling it would get the publics attention quickly.
mafketis 23 | 8,144
10 Dec 2019 #19
How much is the fine

There's been talk of making fines proportional to income so that fines would be a percentage of income rather than fixed fees. I generally approve. Polish drivers are generally bad, not awful, not the worst I've seen (that would probably be Malta) but lots of bad habits from weird driving instruction and a toxic car culture.

It has improved some but not enough and not fast enough for my taste.
johnny reb 22 | 4,191
10 Dec 2019 #20
making fines proportional to income

So if a rich person murders someone they should get life in prison but if a poor person murders someone they should only get five years in prison theory ?

I will ask the question again, does anyone know how much the fine is now in Poland for not yielding for a pedestrian that is a crosswalk ?

Are there points put on their drivers license for endangering someone's life ?
These are the starting points to hold people accountable for being idiots.
mafketis 23 | 8,144
10 Dec 2019 #21
So if a rich person murders

Irrelevant to questions of traffic fines.. I have no desire to drive in Poland so I don't know the fines or points. What I can observe is that a lot of the worst drivers are in the most expensive cars. If a particular fine is 200 zl (wild guess) they don't care. If that were raised to 2000 they might...

There's no inherent right to drive (where I'm from DMV employees always said 'driving privilege') so a sliding scale of fines seems reasonable.
cms neuf - | 1,501
10 Dec 2019 #22
Can go up to 700 zloty plus points or a temporary ban, - but it's almost unheard of for the police to take action.

What is very common however is for pedestrians to be fined for crossing on red lights or in the wrong place, in fact there used to be quite a racket run on tourists by Straz and Policja in big cities, Only yhis morning I drove past some Straz taking the names of some guys who were running to ge their tram.
johnny reb 22 | 4,191
10 Dec 2019 #23
'driving privilege'

They tried to pull that on me too until I showed them the law where it says they can not restrict my movement as a free man.

That stymied their made up "it's a privilege" non sense.
All that line is for is to brainwash you that it is the gospel truth to have "control" over people.
I have to agree with you however on the fact that the most expensive cars are the worst drivers and therefore should be 'humbled in the pocketbook' just as hard as a poor person is.

Thank you for pointing that out to me.

guys who were running to ge their tram.

Running to catch a tram is against the law in Poland ?
mafketis 23 | 8,144
10 Dec 2019 #24
I showed them the law where it says they can not restrict my movement as a free man

You can go anywhere you want within the law, but there's no legal right to be able to go anywhere by car.
johnny reb 22 | 4,191
10 Dec 2019 #25
That is a contradiction but let's stay on topic.


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