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Poland traffic signs are confusing.. Do you agree?



khanfrompak 2 | 12    
22 Dec 2011  #1

If you are driving in Poland and you have done this in our country before too... what you feel the main diff and difficulty here... is it confusing while GREEN LIGHT for right turn is ON and same time pedistrain crossing is also allowed? when both side traffice is running at full speed and your U turn is also allowed at same time.........

i hope your views on the saubject will be helpfull......
aftab-warsaw....


Seanus 15 | 19,748    
22 Dec 2011  #2

They have to stop before the crossing, simples! A little odd but you get used to it.
pawian 127 | 6,556    
22 Dec 2011  #3

is it confusing while GREEN LIGHT for right turn is ON and same time pedistrain crossing is also allowed?

It is a European rule.
irishguy11 7 | 157    
22 Dec 2011  #4

its not confusing at all, if someone is walking on the zebra you stop. I find it useful that they show a amber light before green. As a general rule in traffic, if you see a gap you go for it. You just need to keep the speed the same as around you and keep an eye on out before you make your move.
pawian 127 | 6,556    
22 Dec 2011  #5

Polish traffic signs are confusing........do you agree??/

No.

Well, yes, sometimes, when travelling 700 km from Krakow to the seaside, I do encounter five or six misleading signs. And my GPS goes crazy a few times, too.
grubas1    
22 Dec 2011  #6

It is a European rule.

Bullcrap,it's a common sense.It's allowed in the US too unless the sign specifically says "NO TURN ON RED".
pawian 127 | 6,556    
22 Dec 2011  #7

Bullcrap,it's a common sense.

Common sense which became a rule.
Comeon, show some common sense.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,663    
22 Dec 2011  #8

If you are driving in Poland and you have done this in our country before too...

I suggest getting a Polish driving licence, the process of which will teach you how to drive in Poland.

European rules do indeed differ.
OP khanfrompak 2 | 12    
28 Dec 2011  #10

yes u are right polish signs some time beat the accuracy of GPS and its helpless some time... few weeks back i used GPS in warsaw which say TURN right and there was NO ENTRY SIGN ... what a mess....
pawian 127 | 6,556    
28 Dec 2011  #11

It happens everywhere, from time to time. Didn`t you see TV reports about drivers who went into lakes or rivers?

Poland: England:

USA: article.wn.com/view/2011/05/13/Travelers_warned_not_to_rely_only_on_GPS_f/

etc etc etc.
Wedle 16 | 500    
28 Dec 2011  #12

I suggest getting a Polish driving licence, the process of which will teach you how to drive in Poland.

Exactly, if you are confused do some driving lessons in Poland it may save your life...
Peter Cracow    
30 Dec 2011  #13

is it confusing while GREEN LIGHT for right turn is ON and same time pedistrain crossing is also allowed?

One of the BASIC information when you want to drive in Poland is how to divide an absolute and a relative road light sign!
"LIGHT for right turn" is in shape of the arrow. The absolute sign is situated alone over the lane or on the side of the road. It shows red, yellow or green light to go ahead or R, Y, G arrow to go right (or left). The relative sign is the green arrow fixed on the (right or left) side of the box of absolute sign (with lights to go ahead mostly). That's why when you see red light with green arrow FIXED ON THE SIDE your turning is conditioned - you can go but don't have priority.

There are broad disscusions in Poland how the relative road light sign should looks like to be more understandable for foreigners (and local ignorants). The proposal is flashing yellow arrow. YOU can say whether it is good or not.

See: (3xW) v10.pl/prawo/Sygnaly,swietlne,115.html
krecik89 3 | 60    
13 Mar 2014  #14

I find it useful that they show a amber light before green.

It is confusing when you are turning right and need to cross multiple lanes of traffic sometimes giving way to them and have cars behind you on your tail and then suddenly come across a pedestrian crossing where you're not sure if they have green or not as there are no lights for you - through in some poor light as it's snowing or dusk and yhis is dangerous and confusing. It's stupid!

Also the faded yellow signs for stop are no good. They should be red. The give way on the right is sometimes ridiculous - sometimes there are no markings on the road where to stop and the road you're on is straight and decent but there's a random yellow sign saying give way to a small side road. Makes no sense
InWroclaw 90 | 1,921    
13 Mar 2014  #15

where you're not sure if they have green or not as there are no lights for you

It is always safest to treat all crossings as potentially in use as you approach at traffic light junction turns. Even if they are crossing on red, the courts would likely find a driver guilty of careless driving if he were to injure someone crossing on red or green. In the UK, we have no such contradictory signals, and therefore I agree that filter arrow signals should flash green or amber, preferably amber.
krecik89 3 | 60    
13 Mar 2014  #16

Good advice thanks. I'm living here so just need to accept it. I kind of understand the principle get the traffic moving but both as pedestrian and driver it's not ideal. I've been nearly hit as a pedestrian a number of times. I would have been if I hadn't been watching the car. As a driver also I've had to stop suddenly at a crossing to give way and then nearly been rear ended. So it's a bit stressful not only for foreign drivers; I've seen this happen often enough to locals.
InWroclaw 90 | 1,921    
13 Mar 2014  #17

I wish you safe journeys, and urge you to drive with extra care here as a lot of the drivers here seem to drive like teenagers at a British seaside town on a sunny bank holiday Monday. Even when you're not expected to give way to the right, always look. I have lost count of how many near misses when drivers pull out in front of a vehicle when they didn't have right of way. Don't let the others' hurry hurry hurry I'm on a mission driving style spoil your good habits. Speed on many of these roads would be very hazardous.
Roger5 2 | 1,436    
3 Dec 2015  #18

Who can settle an argument between my dear wife and I? When you are driving on a single carriageway and see a white on green town/village sign, what is the maximum speed you should observe? If a town or village is close, there's then a black on white sign, signalling 50kph in daytime, but the white on green sign is also placed when you are passing villages. I say it's 70 kph until you pass a crossed-out second white on green sign. Virtual beer for the settler.
Harry 79 | 13,327    
3 Dec 2015  #19

Who can settle an argument between my dear wife and I?

Doesn't your sat nav tell you the speed limit where you are? Mine does (it's AutoMapa, can't remember which version, quite old now).
Roger5 2 | 1,436    
3 Dec 2015  #20

I don't use satnav. Don't need it, really, as I don't travel that much. I bought one some time ago before going to the lakes, but it effed me around so much that I chucked it onto the back seat. Good idea, though. I'll hook it up tomorrow and say what it says.
croggers 7 | 109    
3 Dec 2015  #21

White town name on a green background changes no speed rules, it's only when you see the black buildings on a white background that it changes back to 50 km/h. For eg, you may enter the actual city (White Gdańsk on a great background) but there is no built up city sign (black building on a white background) so you can still drive what ever the previous speed limit was, probably 90 km/h if outside the city on a single carriage way. That white on green is only information, no rules apply to it. Hope that all made sense ;)
delphiandomine 87 | 15,663    
3 Dec 2015  #22

Virtual beer for the settler.

With pleasure ;)

White on green town signs (and older ones, such as black on white and inner-city blue on white) are only for informational purposes, not for speed limit purposes. The only signs that change the speed limit are the normal speed limit signs, and the black and white "town" sign.

google.com/maps/@52.4043153,17.0468172,3a,75y,114.7h,85.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1saw-jQsfTexfbhNWRRgfNnQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1 - this is for informational purposes only

google.com/maps/@52.4036835,17.0522935,3a,37.5y,98.34h,82.91t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s9fOfHYlDaFYkK21DZRSuLQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1 - this is the beginning of the blanket 50km/h (unless signed otherwise) zone. It's about 300-400m after the name of the town sign.

I say it's 70 kph until you pass a crossed-out second white on green sign.

Nope, 90km/h unless signed otherwise (or you entered the "town" zone).

What took me forever to get used to was the idea of a junction "cancelling" the speed limit. It's second nature now, but for a long time, I was always looking for confirmation of what the speed limit actually was.
Roger5 2 | 1,436    
4 Dec 2015  #23

Thanks to Delph and croggers. There's one in the virtual pipe for each of you. I suppose humble pie is on the menu for me today. btw, the new average speed camera I mentioned the other week seems to have made it's point. Most people drive very slowly on the 4km stretch between Zabłudów and Żwierki on road 19. It's a pity they didn't put it where it might have helped. The stretch it's on doesn't have a single roadside cross, as far as I'm aware.
Jardinero 1 | 380    
5 Dec 2015  #24

As a general comment, getting used to traffic signs and the reasoning behind in any new country takes time, wherever you go. Poland is probably on the extreme end in EU with the concentration of signs and traffic regulations just too high and unintelligible, especially in urban areas. Also, very annoying are the omnipresent speed limit signs on B-class roads that change every 30meters it seems.

And in many areas the roads are still being built as they were 30 years ago (building wider roads than are needed for the speed limit - which only encourages drivers to speed) without consideration for traffic calming measures. The logic seems to be to build as wide as you can wherever you can ( EU funding) as if there were no long term planing in place, so they seem over build just in case.
kpc21 1 | 763    
5 Dec 2015  #25

White on green town signs (and older ones, such as black on white and inner-city blue on white) are only for informational purposes, not for speed limit purposes.

The town signs with black letters on white background used to introduce a speed limit in the past, like the signs with the town shape do now. But they doesn't mean that any more. So if someone tells you such a thing, remember about this. These signs shouldn't actually exist any more, they are no more in the highway code, they should have been exchanged to the green ones and the ones with the town shape, but they still exist (and it even sometimes happens that they install new ones) in some village roads. They have no meaning now, and even their informational function is played by them just on their own, it's not based on any regulations now.

Some time ago - I think it was in the 1990s, or shortly after 2000 - they replaced the white signs with a town name (which introduced a speed limit then too) with two separate signs: green signs with a town name (only informational purpose, no speed limit), and white signs with a town shape (speed limit to 50 km/h, or 60 km/h at night after 23, unless it is limited more, or the limit is weakened, by ordinary speed limit signs). There was a "switch-over" time, when both systems were in force, but it's for a long time that the white signs with a town name do not mean anything.

The white signs with a name in blue are equivalent to the green signs with a name in white, but they refer to city/town parts (like districts). If you meet them anywhere. They are not really common, not many cities/towns use them at all. They, of course, also don't introduce any speed limit.

Most people drive very slowly on the 4km stretch between Zabłudów and Żwierki on road 19. It's a pity they didn't put it where it might have helped.

There are some cases of municipalities in Poland, which established a local police (straż miejska - a kind of police independent of the main state-controlled one, which can be established by any municipality if it wants it) only for the purpose of erecting a speed camera and charging drivers on a road passing through a village for speeding... Just as a source of extra money to the municipality budget.

What took me forever to get used to was the idea of a junction "cancelling" the speed limit.

The idea behind that is, I think, that a driver entering the street from the side street at the intersection cannot know the speed limit that held before. So it simply cannot be so, that there is a junction and the speed limit still holds behind it without any signs. I have no idea, how they are dealing with this problem in the western countries, where an intersection doesn't cancel a speed limit.

There are broad disscusions in Poland how the relative road light sign should looks like to be more understandable for foreigners (and local ignorants)

It's an old post, but I will answer... It is so in some European countries and it is a very good idea. The basic meaning (not looking at the Polish highway code) of a green arrow light is the absolute priority in this direction. And it works so when you have three lights with arrows. But the conditional turn-right signal in Poland looks exactly the same (OK, the shape of the arrow is different, and it is a single signal cell instead of three ones, but it shouldn't be making any difference, while it is) and means something very different.

Not a long time ago - for sure at the end of the 1990s - it was so, that the conditional turn-right was allowed when there was a small sign (not a signal, an ordinary sign) with a green arrow on, if I remember well (I cannot find any photos on the Internet), black background below the main traffic light signals. Similarly like it is in Germany, but the sign was small and rectangular, not square, it was wide as the traffic light, but quite low, and it was installed below the general traffic light, not next to it. But then someone of the politicians found out that this is incompatible with some European norms (which is a total bullsh*t, see that Germans still have it and it works there). So first they removed these arrows and banned turning right on red, and then introduced this conditional signal with a green arrow instead. Without considering that they made it now really incompatible with the standards, according to which green arrow means absolute priority for the right-turn.

An issue important to remember here is that even with this conditional right-turn signal, you are obliged to stop due to the general red light, and only then you can start moving, giving priority to the pedestrians and to the traffic across. More or less like with the STOP sign. Interestingly, almost noone obeys this regulation, except for the driving learners' cars and the driving license exam ones (if you forget about that, you fail the exam), but it is good to know that.
delphiandomine 87 | 15,663    
5 Dec 2015  #26

The idea behind that is, I think, that a driver entering the street from the side street at the intersection cannot know the speed limit that held before.

It's a very sensible idea actually when you get used to it. I'm always confused in other countries (especially Germany) as to what limits actually are - for me, the GPS is invaluable in this case. At least in the UK, there are repeater signs, but these aren't found in other countries.

But then someone of the politicians found out that this is incompatible with some European norms (which is a total bullsh*t, see that Germans still have it and it works there).

From memory, that sign was actually a DDR law, and one of the very few DDR laws that made it beyond October 3rd 1990. I don't remember the exact reason, but I seem to think that they were supposed to be removed and East German drivers protested because it's a sensible idea. Must admit though - I don't turn on red in Germany for the sole reason that I'm not 100% certain of how the law works with that sign.

An issue important to remember here is that even with this conditional right-turn signal

I actually quite like the signal in general. It reminds you that there's likely to be something coming from your left/right, so even if no-one stops, you still think "hmm, something might be happening here" and so you pay more attention.
Binaca    
5 Dec 2015  #27

I'm always confused in other countries

That is a known fact here,and its not only the road signs.I am glad you finally admit that.
kpc21 1 | 763    
5 Dec 2015  #28

From memory, that sign was actually a DDR law

I sometimes see it in the western Germany too - but not often.

In Germany, right turns on red are only permitted, after a complete stop, when a specific sign is present. This rule was first introduced in 1978 in East Germany and was originally supposed to become obsolete together with the East German highway code by the end of 1990, following German reunification. However, authorities were unable to remove the signs in time, and public opinion caused them to leave the regulation unchanged, even extending its scope to the former areas of West Germany in 1994.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_turn_on_red
Jardinero 1 | 380    
5 Dec 2015  #29

Same concept applies to Poland, except the sign is replaced with the lit arrow supplementary signal. I actually prefer the German sign - simpler and avoids the confusion with the main signals.
kpc21 1 | 763    
5 Dec 2015  #30

As I have said already, the same used to be in Poland, but someone of the politicians didn't like it...




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