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Accidents Highways Road deaths Commentary

Poles have Western cars, but Eastern mentality

Road death toll in Poland among the highest in the EU.

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Wojciech Tumidalski
via: rp.pl

Ever since Western cars became the norm on Polish roads and the quality of those roads improved, Poles have grown to love pressing the gas pedal.

In general, speed limits are seen only as a suggestion for drivers and nothing actually legally binding.

Many of those drivers who have been stopped for speeding seem shocked that the law actually applies to them. For these drivers, dangerous road conditions do not seem to matter much either, playing as little a role in their driving behavior as speed limits do.

How is it possible that those same people drive their cars somewhere deep into Europe and obey all road restrictions without a second thought?

Why, despite sitting behind Western wheels, do we remain in the Eastern cultural zone when it comes to driving style? Does not every Polish driver know that according to the law, the left lane can only be used for overtaking and not a lane where one is supposed to constantly drive on?

We can still see the impunity of the road boorishness of these drivers every day. They slalom from the left to the right lane and back again, breaking a plethora of traffic laws in the process. Then, they will constantly overtake cars, which in their mind, are traveling far too slowly.

Everyone who has tried to drive for a long stretch in Poland while sticking to the law has experienced these dangerous drivers.

This is why we should support the police who have just received more tools to fight these road pirates. The police will now be able to monitor freeways and highways more effectively.

Despite improved enforcement capabilities, tickets and fines in Poland for breaking road regulations are low compared to the earnings for those culprits who are caught. Maybe that is why so many drivers seem so unconcerned with following the rules?

It would be easier for the police to care for our security and punish those breaking the law if not for the Eastern-based view of a police officer, which does not help.

In Eastern Europe, police are often seen as corrupt or used for political purposes, but perceptions of them are changing. One day, we will finally connect to the West on the highway, but it will take time and a reworking of the Polish mindset.