We increase road traffic safety – new regulations
Unifying the speed limit in built-up areas regardless of the time of day, increasing the scope of pedestrian protection in the pedestrian crossing area, the obligation to exercise particular caution by pedestrians and regulating the issue of the safe distance between vehicles on motorways and expressways, provides for the draft act introducing solutions aimed improving the safety of road users.
On November 24, 2020, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft amendment to the Act – Road Traffic Law, developed by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the National Road Safety Council.
– The Act introduces a number of solutions aimed at improving the safety of road users, especially pedestrians, who have no chance of colliding with a speeding vehicle. Safety on our roads, including unprotected road users, must increase – this is the priority of the Polish government – said Minister of Infrastructure Andrzej Adamczyk.
Greater protection for pedestrians in the area of pedestrian crossings
Increasing the scope of pedestrian protection in the pedestrian crossing area is planned by imposing additional obligations on the vehicle driver. He will be obliged to carefully observe not only the pedestrian crossing, but also its surroundings, and to create the possibility of safe crossing the road for pedestrians located at the crossing and for those who enter the crossing.
Currently, the Road Traffic Act obliges the driver of a vehicle approaching a pedestrian crossing to exercise particular caution and give way to the pedestrian. On the other hand, the obligation of the vehicle driver to reduce the speed so as not to endanger pedestrians on the crossing or entering it results from the provisions of the regulation on road signs and signals.
The new solution will oblige the driver of a vehicle that is approaching a pedestrian crossing, apart from being particularly careful and giving way to a pedestrian at the pedestrian crossing, to reduce speed so as not to endanger the pedestrian. It will also be the driver’s responsibility to give way to a pedestrian entering the crossing or on it. The extension of the granting of priority to pedestrians entering the pedestrian crossing in the proposed amendments to the act does not apply to trams.
The current obligation of pedestrians to exercise particular caution when crossing the road or track will also be extended to the pedestrian entering the road or track. Pedestrians entering the pedestrian crossing will be obliged to exercise particular caution, consisting in increasing attention and adapting their behavior to the conditions and situations changing on the road, to the extent that allows for a sufficiently quick response.
We do not use telephones when crossing the road
The draft act proposes regulations prohibiting pedestrians from using mobile phones and other devices that impair correct perception, especially visual perception, and thus assessment in terms of the use of mobile phones while entering the road or trackway or crossing the road or trackway (also within the pedestrian crossings located there). safely enter and overcome the road or track. This solution will have an impact on the safety of vulnerable road users. It will be achieved by supplementing Art. 14 of the Act – Road Traffic Law, specifying bans for pedestrians in road traffic.
No more bumper riding
Failure to keep the distance between vehicles on expressways and highways, as shown by police statistics, is one of the main causes of accidents, apart from mismatching speed to traffic conditions, incorrect overtaking, fatigue and incorrect lane change.
Maintaining a too small distance between vehicles is often the cause of dangerous road incidents. Common on Polish roads is the so-called ‘Driving on bumper’, shortly behind the vehicle in front. This is an extremely risky practice especially on highways such as motorways and expressways. In an emergency that requires immediate action, the driver has no chance of reacting quickly. If the distance is not kept, the field of view is also limited, making it impossible to identify the obstacle in front of the vehicle in front. Sudden deceleration of the vehicle in front forces those in the rear to brake suddenly, often resulting in a collision.
The most important goal of the training is to improve skills and raise the level of knowledge in the field of safety standards on local government roads and in their surroundings, using engineering devices and solutions that improve the safety of road users. The project is co-financed by the Operational Program Infrastructure and Environment 2014-2020.
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