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Stiffer traffic rules in Poland?


polonius 54 | 420
25 Nov 2012 #1
Weeklu Polityka wrote that PO MP Beata Bublewicz wanted to introduce more rigorous traffic regulations to reduce the number of road accidents and deaths. These include stopping to allow pedestrians cross the road, increasing maximum traffic fines from 500 to 1,500 zł, making the changing of winter and summer tyres obligatory and requiring windscreen stickers showing that the motorist has insurance. Last year Poland led the list traffic deaths in the EU, moving ahead of Romania, Greece and Bulgaria. Why do you think Poland holds that unflattering record?

(This is directed especially to those who have driven a motor vehilce in Poland.)

polityka.pl/kraj/1532853,1,platforma-pracuje-nad-rewolucja-w-kodeksie-drogowym.read
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
25 Nov 2012 #2
Many but not all Polish drivers drive far too fast in urban areas, are usually very reluctant to let someone cross the road on the black and white road markings perhaps because they are very numerous, I see more Poles on mobile phones here while driving than anywhere else I can recall in recent years, and the general atmosphere in cities such as this one is rush rush rush whether on foot or by a motor vehicle. You seldom see anyone walking at anything other than a fast pace - and this is then replicated in people's driving habits.

I don't know what it is - perhaps Poles are very industrious or just some of them are late for appointments or try to squeeze too much into a day - but rush rush rush is the theme.

I would recommend a driver awareness campaign informing drivers they need to stop at zebra crossings, that pedestrians always have priority, that speeding costs lives (for example, that at certain impact speeds a pedestrian is far less likely to survive if hit by a car) and that the police will impose stiffer penalties from now on.

As for the mechanical worthiness of some vehicles - I suspect standards need to be tightened. I have heard that drivers here may be driving cut and shutmotor cars (2 cars welded together) and tolerate wittingly or unwittingly a whole raft of other mechanically questionable practices.

Better roads also play their role. Some of the roads I have seen here, especially B-roads in this city, are little better than that you'd find on a disused industrial estate in the north of England. Perhaps worse. A lot could be done with the roads here to help matters.

At 40mph there's an 80% chance of killing the pedestrian, especially children. At 30mph there's an 80% chance the child will live.

youtu.be/HeUX6LABCEA

youtu.be/3iqCcMDByLA
OP polonius 54 | 420
25 Nov 2012 #3
Has anyone else noticed that many Polish pedestrians who have placed one foot off the kerb proceed to cross without bothering to look if any car is coming. Both pedestrians and motorists should fucntion in a mode of limited confidence towards road co-users.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
25 Nov 2012 #4
Pedestrians should indeed use crossings defensively, and not just in Poland. Although here especially.

Drivers coming to Poland should drive defensively at all times.
Richfilth 6 | 415
25 Nov 2012 #5
Bulgaria has worse roads than Poland, and a lower road death rate.
Italy has worse driver behaviour, and a lower road death rate.
France has a higher rate of alcoholism, and a lower road death rate.
Romania has lower quality cars, and a lower road death rate.

The only conclusion is that Poland is bad at absolutely everything when it comes to driving. The skill and experience is poor, the cars are in bad condition, the laws are unenforced and the punishment too lenient. And yet every holiday weekend when another spate of crashes kills another hundred families, what do the Poles say? "Oh, it's these terrible roads, we need more EU money for highways".

The prime cause, the worst of all, is the indefensible attitude of Polish drivers that "it's not my fault". I know cars need to be kept cheap to allow working-class people access to transport, but not to the point where unsafe cars are driven with no insurance at too high a speed.

With the car, Poland is killing itself.
poland_
25 Nov 2012 #6
Drivers coming to Poland should drive defensively at all times.

Drivers coming to Poland should drive aggressive at all times, or be eaten up. From my extensive experience of driving on Polish roads, things are getting a touch better, some people do give way to you,although most drivers are arrogant fcuks. if someone cuts me up I make a point of hunting them on the road, which could be considered intimidating, someone has to teach these a**holes a lesson. The simple rule in Poland the bigger and more expensive your car, the more respect you will receive on Polish roads. Don't complain about driving on Polish roads just learn the rules.

One of the games Polish drivers play is to push you from behind to go faster so you take the ticket, if someone plays this game on you allow him to overtake and then sit on his tail, so he takes the ticket.

Think like a Pole.
pam
25 Nov 2012 #7
People like you are probably the reason Poland has so many fatalities on the roads.
Not saying you're any different to the majority of Polish drivers, but if this is how most poles drive, is it any wonder Poland has the accident record it does.
NorthMancPolak 4 | 648
25 Nov 2012 #8
Think like a Pole.

Think like a pr*ck, more like.

The phrase "Darwin award winners" springs to mind.
OP polonius 54 | 420
25 Nov 2012 #9
Years ago I heard it said: a Polish motorist doesn't drive -- he aims! Some attribute 'dynamic/aggressive' Polish driving habits to the swashbuckling spirit of a cavalry charge.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
25 Nov 2012 #10
Shame there's no equivalent to this book for some Poles to read and learn how to actually drive rather than pulling levers and turning wheels that merely operate their vehicles

amazon.co.uk/Roadcraft-drivers-handbook-Essential-Handbook/dp/0117021687

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roadcraft
pam
25 Nov 2012 #11
Just out of interest, how common is it for Police to take bribes for motoring offences in Poland?
My ex-lodger was caught a couple of times for speeding, paid the policeman, and went on his merry way.
Never thought to ask him at the time if this is commonplace, but if it is, the Police are hardly contributing to road safety either.
poland_
25 Nov 2012 #12
People like you are probably the reason Poland has so many fatalities on the roads.
Not saying you're any different to the majority of Polish drivers, but if this is how most poles drive, is it any wonder Poland has the accident record it does.

Think like a pr*ck, more like.
The phrase "Darwin award winners" springs to mind.

Firstly I am British, secondly after driving in excess of 100,000 klm's on Polish roads over the years, I would go as far as saying ' my opinion is qualified'

If you have no experience it is always better to stay ' shtum '
pam
25 Nov 2012 #13
if someone cuts me up I make a point of hunting them on the road, which could be considered intimidating, someone has to teach these a**holes a lesson.

I might not have experience with driving on Polish roads, but do you seriously think your statement above constitutes safe driving?
If you are concentrating so much on getting even with someone that has cut you up on the road, then you're not giving full attention to other drivers around you.

I would not like to be on the road with you anywhere near me tbh.
You might think you drive safely, i beg to differ.
poland_
25 Nov 2012 #14
Pam, I am not interested in getting involved in a spat, I will bring to your attention one issue, I live in Poland and have forgotten more about this place than you know, I am an experienced driver in Poland, I know the rules written and unwritten. You can't think like a Brit on Polish roads you must think like a Pole, driving in Poland is dog eat dog, it is mostly unsupervised and no-one cares about anyone else. As they say the rules of the road - reflect the society. If you come to Poland Pam and drive like you do in your home town, you will be the one involved in an accident very quickly.
OP polonius 54 | 420
25 Nov 2012 #15
As I see it, speeding and tailgating (niezachowywanie odstępu) are the two main Polish offences.I won't mention drink-driving, because that's so obvious.

One way to deal; with it is to resist being bullied by tailgaters who want you to speed up. If I am going 70 in a 50 km/h zone and some bozo thinks that's not fast enough and is on my tail, I slow down forcing him to overtake. Also keeping a 1-car distance from the car ahead of you for every15 km/h you're travelling at is very helpful.
poland_
25 Nov 2012 #16
As I see it, speeding and tailgating (niezachowywanie odstępu) are the two main Polish offences

Maybe in America...

Polish rules for Polish residents !
delphiandomine 83 | 17,730
26 Nov 2012 #17
These include stopping to allow pedestrians cross the road, increasing maximum traffic fines from 500 to 1,500 zł,

First one already is law, the second is a good idea - as it stands, 500zl isn't discouraging anyone. I certainly am not discouraged by the prospect of 4 points and a 100zl fine for doing 70km/h in a 50.

making the changing of winter and summer tyres obligatory

The German law makes sense - in wintry conditions, you need winter tyres.

and requiring windscreen stickers showing that the motorist has insurance.

No need. Cars must be insured anyway.

The skill and experience is poor, the cars are in bad condition, the laws are unenforced and the punishment too lenient. And yet every holiday weekend when another spate of crashes kills another hundred families, what do the Poles say? "Oh, it's these terrible roads, we need more EU money for highways".

The holiday weekends are a complete joke. They should start by introducing much stiffer punishments during these times - drink driving should be automatic jail time for *any* adult in the car (that would put a stop to women getting in the car with the children with a drunk) for instance, and punishments should be automatically doubled. It would go a hell of a long way to cut down on the problems during those times.

But yes, the total lack of enforcement is the biggest cause. I've lost count of the amount of laws that I've broken on purpose and have never been stopped - about the only thing I obey is speed limits in obvious villages on main roads. But that 70km/h limit on the way to work? Hahaha.

One of the games Polish drivers play is to push you from behind to go faster so you take the ticket, if someone plays this game on you allow him to overtake and then sit on his tail, so he takes the ticket.

Oh yes. And people - for some reason - are intimidated by this. Me? I smile, laugh and turn up the music - I'm not taking a ticket for some idiot with his black car.

Drivers coming to Poland should drive aggressive at all times, or be eaten up.

Always. Driving defensively is actually more likely to lead to accidents - though I enjoy one bit of road on the way to work. There's a dual carriageway, and doing 80km/h on the outside lane is 'normal'. One twat was sitting on my tail, flashing his lights and boiling over with rage that I wouldn't speed up - so I taught him a lovely lesson by matching the speed of the car in the inside lane and sitting there. He - predictably - finally got past by performing a stupid dangerous move, then entirely predictably slammed on his brakes. I knew it was coming, so I was already changing lane and laughing at him as I went by. And Poland is full of such morons.

Just out of interest, how common is it for Police to take bribes for motoring offences in Poland?

Almost unheard of these days. It's common for the police to let off "one of their own" (anyone who works for the State too) - but trying to bribe the police will almost certainly get you in trouble. It was commonplace, but now - I wouldn't risk it.

One way to deal; with it is to resist being bullied by tailgaters who want you to speed up. If I am going 70 in a 50 km/h zone and some bozo thinks that's not fast enough and is on my tail, I slow down forcing him to overtake. Also keeping a 1-car distance from the car ahead of you for every15 km/h you're travelling at is very helpful.

Never thought I'd say it Polonius, but I agree with you. I'm not surprised there are so many head on accidents when morons absolutely must overtake constantly - I make a point of slowing down quite a bit when being overtaken, simply because the chances of getting involved in a smash are quite high at that point.

But I think that if you actually learn to drive here like I did, Poland is pleasurable to drive in - not much risk of being caught by the police and next to no enforcement of speeding.

Worth pointing out as well that Poland hasn't signed up to any agreements concerning the exchanging of data for enforcement - so speed cameras abroad can be abused with impunity.
smurf 39 | 1,981
26 Nov 2012 #18
Drivers coming to Poland should drive aggressive at all times, or be eaten up.One of the games Polish drivers play is to push you from behind to go faster so you take the ticket, if someone plays this game on you allow him to overtake and then sit on his tail, so he takes the ticket.

Awful attitude. You're gonna get yourself in a serious accident one of these days driving like that. Maybe you won't get killed but maybe you'll be the one that does the killing.

Almost unheard of these days. It's common for the police to let off "one of their own" (anyone who works for the State too) - but trying to bribe the police will almost certainly get you in trouble. It was commonplace, but now - I wouldn't risk it.

Prob coz they know immediately your a foreigner. Anytime I've been stopped it was when my missus was in the car. Short exchange, puppy dogs eyes, 50zl in a handshake later, we're on our way again.

Was talkin about this with a good friend last week. A Polish man, in his early 50s, been driving since he could. Never ever got a fine from a Polish man. In over 30 years of driving. He's been caught by the odd camera alright, but whenever caught by a cop it's always a bribe. Cops are bent as hell, I don't blame them. Citizens detest them, they have crappy jobs that pay SFA and nobody likes the, why wouldn't they take an extra few bob?

Have ye heard about the new traffic cameras?
They'll be installed on the highway between Wrocław & Krakow (will include Katowice etc)
Cameras over the roads will take a photo of your number plate and and at various stage of your journey. Camera will calculate the time it took you to get from A to B and if it's too fast you'll get fined. Loads of people round here complaining about it, I think it's a good idea tbh. People drive far too fast and too dangerously here, hopefully this will cut down on the amount of accidents on that road.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
26 Nov 2012 #19
Have ye heard about the new traffic cameras?

They're all over my home town in the UK and have been for years, they are called average speed cameras.
poland_
26 Nov 2012 #20
Awful attitude. You're gonna get yourself in a serious accident one of these days driving like that.

When in Rome,

There's a dual carriageway, and doing 80km/h on the outside lane is 'normal'.

Delph there has been a new law introduced in Poland and the Police are actively enforcing it now, the outside lane is for overtaking, if you are seen to use it for cruising outside of peak times, they will pull you over and ticket you.

People drive far too fast and too dangerously here, hopefully this will cut down on the amount of accidents on that road.

The first one has been installed in Poland, it can calculate multiple cars, catch people on their mobile phone and without a seat belt. It is on the junction of ul Sikorskiego and ul Sobieskeiego in Warsaw. Gives out on average 1,500 tickets a day
delphiandomine 83 | 17,730
26 Nov 2012 #21
Have ye heard about the new traffic cameras?

Horrible things. I'm all for enforcement, but average speed cameras are horrible, horrible things that serve no purpose whatsoever. I think we can all agree that doing 110km/h on a straight, empty road doesn't hurt anyone.

Delph there has been a new law introduced in Poland and the Police are actively enforcing it now, the outside lane is for overtaking, if you are seen to use it for cruising outside of peak times, they will pull you over and ticket you.

As far as I know, it isn't even a new law - they just made some pretence about actually enforcing it. Like most other laws, they simply won't be enforced.

The first one has been installed in Poland, it can calculate multiple cars, catch people on their mobile phone and without a seat belt. It is on the junction of ul Sikorskiego and ul Sobieskeiego in Warsaw. Gives out on average 1,500 tickets a day

Ugh. I hate this sort of policing - cameras are indiscriminate and totally remove the fear factor in having to actually deal with the police. They also don't waste people's time - someone with an attitude problem and a big car can easily be made to wait quite a while, but cameras remove this. Get more police enforcing, not more cameras!

why wouldn't they take an extra few bob?

If they're caught, it's a potential 5 year jail sentence - likewise, attempted bribery is a serious deal. They really don't **** about in Poland when it comes to bribery cases - which is why I wouldn't even dare.

The biggest mystery to me is why the police aren't allowed to simply set up dedicated traffic units to deal with the bad driving problem - if the funds raised were clearly only to be returned to the unit in question (perhaps even putting the officers on significant bonuses for the detection of seriously bad driving) and not for any other purpose, they could easily be self funding and driving standards would be forcibly improved.

I don't buy all this crap about 'needing' to drive dangerously to get ahead in Poland. I once did Poznan-Wroclaw as fast as I could without driving dangerously (so - 60km/h through villages, overtaking constantly, etc) and found that I was a whole 10 minutes faster door to door. Not worth it at all.
pam
26 Nov 2012 #22
Awful attitude. You're gonna get yourself in a serious accident one of these days driving like that. Maybe you won't get killed but maybe you'll be the one that does the killing.

+1
Waszawski, What amazes me is that you think it's ok to drive like this, just because, in your opinion, everybody else does.
Ask yourself this, how would you feel if someone driving just like you do, wiped out your family in an accident?
Would you still be saying ' but when in Rome'?
I think not.
Having the Polish mindset with regards to driving doesn't make it right.
Being the EU leader for RTA deaths is not something for Poland to be proud of.
I hope they install average speed cameras everywhere. If they save lives,it's a good thing.
poland_
26 Nov 2012 #23
Waszawski, What amazes me is that you think it's ok to drive like this, just because, in your opinion, everybody else does.

As I previously mentioned I am an experienced driver on Polish roads and know the rules.

Having the Polish mindset with regards to driving doesn't make it right.

Having the Polish mindset allows me to pre-empt accidents.

I hope they install average speed cameras everywhere.

There are plenty of speed cameras in Poland.

Being the EU leader for RTA deaths

Drink driving is the main cause of accidents in Poland.

Would you still be saying

I would say Pam, experience it yourself and stop blabbing on.

As far as I know, it isn't even a new law - they just made some pretence about actually enforcing it. Like most other laws, they simply won't be enforced.

They have started enforcing it in Warsaw, it is getting closer to Christmas.

If they're caught, it's a potential 5 year jail sentence - likewise, attempted bribery is a serious deal. They really don't **** about in Poland when it comes to bribery cases - which is why I wouldn't even dare.

I am not quite sure about the bribery being under control, I have to go with Milky on that one. Corruption is still a major problem in Poland.
smurf 39 | 1,981
26 Nov 2012 #24
Horrible things. I'm all for enforcement, but average speed cameras are horrible, horrible things that serve no purpose whatsoever. I think we can all agree that doing 110km/h on a straight, empty road doesn't hurt anyone.

Well, since it's on the highway the limit is 130km :P
So they'd only be going after you if you're shown to be breaking that.

I wouldn't mind it to be honest, I think I'm like you, I drive about 10-15 faster than I should in urban areas, but on the highway 130 is plenty fast for me.

I suppose I mostly leave for a trip early and give myself plenty of time to get somewhere.

Drink driving is the main cause of accidents in Poland.

+1 this is the single major problem and nobody is doing anything to even attempt to curb it. Shameful so it is.

When in Rome,

I live here too chap and I don't want you to kill me coz you've got a bit of a chip on your shoulder over they way other drivers have treated you, I've not treated you bad, why drive like a douchebag when around normal drivers y'know? I've had one bad road rage incident here, learned my lesson, I've got a camera on my dashboard now and a can of pepper spray in the glove compartment.

The first one has been installed in Poland, it can calculate multiple cars, catch people on their mobile phone and without a seat belt. It is on the junction of ul Sikorskiego and ul Sobieskeiego in Warsaw. Gives out on average 1,500 tickets a day

I've no problem with this at all. You're obviously a d!ck if you don't wear a seatbelt, same goes for being on the phone. Every phone has a speaker, just buy one of these and use the speaker if you get a call.

But 100% with you on the drink driving, can't get my head around the fact that it's so acceptable here. Life-ban is what I'd be giving people if I was a judge.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,730
26 Nov 2012 #25
Well, since it's on the highway the limit is 130km :P
So they'd only be going after you if you're shown to be breaking that.

Jeez, there's absolutely no need to put those things on the motorway - even though the limit is now 140km/h ;) Bad driving in bad weather will never be caught by cameras, and many Polish motorways aren't busy enough to warrant actually actively enforcing the limit.

I wouldn't mind it to be honest, I think I'm like you, I drive about 10-15 faster than I should in urban areas, but on the highway 130 is plenty fast for me.

I normally sit at 100-110, but that's a lot to do with finding that my concentration goes at higher speeds. I can relax and take it easy at 110 - or go 150 and find myself gripping the steering wheel. No sense whatsoever to go faster, for me.

I once tried (in the middle of the night) to go flat out from £ódź to Poznań - lasted about 20 minutes, got knackered and went back to a comfy 110.

+1 this is the single major problem and nobody is doing anything to even attempt to curb it. Shameful so it is.

More cameras won't help this - the only thing that will put a stop to it is severe, severe punishments. Prison for any adults in the car, with the car being sold/crushed as appopriate. It's harsh, but people would think twice. The real menace is when you get meek women accepting that the man has a right to drink vodka and then drive her and the kids around.

I've vowed that if I ever come across a drunken driver, I'll put a stop to them myself. Nearly had the chance a while ago outside Szczecin, but he pulled off as I overtook him to get a good look :(

I'd also be hugely in favour of 10 years in prison - automatically - for anyone caught drink driving while already banned for drink driving.
smurf 39 | 1,981
26 Nov 2012 #26
he only thing that will put a stop to it is severe, severe punishments.

I agree, but not about prison. They'd become overcrowded and people would be let out early.
Hit them in their pockets.
huge fines, 50,000zl or something like that. Cripple people with debt for a few years. Lifetime ban on driving too.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
26 Nov 2012 #27
I've vowed that if I ever come across a drunken driver, I'll put a stop to them myself. Nearly had the chance a while ago outside Szczecin, but he pulled off as I overtook him to get a good look :(

By that phrase, I hope you mean you would telephone the police and notify them of a suspected drink-driver, and not intervene any further unless you possess a warrant card and the authority to do so.
paulinska 9 | 86
26 Nov 2012 #28
I know a 21yr old girl, who is actually very lucky to be alive. She decided to go for a spin (she's still doing driving lessons) with 3 other friends after a drinking binge. 2 of her friends are still in hospital (the accident was 2 months ago - apparently they didn't feel like wearing seat belts). The car was a complete write off (It belonged to a friend's friend) and she caused thousands of Zloty in damages (drove straight through a round about, lost control, hit a parked car, and rolled into a lamp post)...Now all this is sad but here is were i think the system fails....

The girl's is not insured, has no full license, overly drunk & driving erractically way over the speed limit - what do the authorities do?!

6 month ban and 300PLN in fines...
Fortunately/unfortunately after the accident she's become very self conscious - she rightly blames herself for the 2 friends who are still in hospital. She's been teetotal since her recovery.

If you ask me, i would say the penalties for the offences need to be much tougher - Prison tends to put people's lives in perspective!
delphiandomine 83 | 17,730
26 Nov 2012 #29
By that phrase, I hope you mean you would telephone the police and notify them of a suspected drink-driver, and not intervene any further unless you possess a warrant card and the authority to do so.

Nope. I'd get them to stop, take their keys and throw them as far as I could into the nearest source of deep water. I've called the police before to intervene in dangerous situations and been met with total apathy - so dealing with the situation makes sense.

(and then call the police)

Cripple people with debt for a few years.

Could work actually - such people do tend to own property that they got cheap.

I'd also be massively in favour of compulsory community service for such people. Mind you, Polish prisons are no walks in the park.
InWroclaw 89 | 1,915
26 Nov 2012 #30
Nope. I'd get them to stop, take their keys and throw them as far as I could into the nearest source of deep water. I've called the police before to intervene in dangerous situations and been met with total apathy - so dealing with the situation makes sense. (and then call the police)

Nevertheless it is only the police who are entitled to undertake dealing with these situations - I strongly suggest for your own sake that you do not put yourself at risk, physically nor legally.


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