When a prominent politician breaks the law, news of the incident tends to spread very quickly. In the case of one of the most powerful politicians in Poland, the fact that he put other lives at risk with his driving is national news.
On Saturday in Wiśniewo in central Poland, the police stopped a driver who was speeding at 107 km/h in a residential area where the speed limit was 50 km/h. The driver turned out to be Donald Tusk who was fined PL 500 (€106), had his driver’s license suspended for three months and received 10 penalty points.
Tusk is the former Polish prime minister and former President of the European Council. He is also the current leader of the opposition’s Civic Platform (PO).
Tusk admitted to the incident on social media and stated that the penalty was “adequate” and had not disputed it.
Sylwester Pawłowski from the Conscious Driver educational project emphasized that the situation was incredibly scandalous.
“Speeding at 107 km/h in a residential area is not merely ‘being distracted’ — it is a conscious decision to risk your life and health and that of others,” he stated.
Pawłowski referred to research which indicates that while driving above 80 km/h, there is a 100 percent chance to kill a pedestrian if there is a road incident. He also stressed, that Tusk’s fine was not an “adequate” penalty, and in fact, was nothing more than a small fee for an egregious violation of the law.
“It is not a coincidence that the politician permitted himself such behavior behind the wheel in Poland. We have too high leniency when it comes to traffic regulations in our country, both in our society and within the legislation itself,” he explained.
Pawłowski pointed out that penalties for violating traffic regulations had not changed for close to 25 years and were very low in Poland.
“This shows how little politicians have cared about this matter. Now, we have a historic chance to increase these penalties and I hope this happens,” he stated.