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Parliamentary Infrastructure Committee. Draft amendment to the Road Traffic Act. Expert comments Jerzy Polaczek, Marek Konkolewski

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PiS introduces changes to the Road Traffic Law. They concern e.g. reintroducing courses for drivers who want to reduce the number of penalty points, reintroducing a one-year period after which penalty points are removed. – I have noted the voices of the transport industry – explains Jerzy Polaczek, former transport minister and PiS MP, in an interview with TVN24 Biznes. He explained that the Polish industry is “a quarter of European freight transport”. – A similar fate awaits the scale of fines, pushed to the limits of the average Polish wallet – said Marek Konkolewski, a road safety expert, in an interview with TVN24 Biznes.

New solutions are included in the amendment to the Road Traffic Law. It is about returning to the solutions that were abolished in last year’s amendment. They concern e.g. restoring courses for drivers who want to reduce the number of penalty points, restoring the one-year period after which penalty points are removed, and restoring the mechanism according to which a suspended driving license – after the period for which it was suspended – will be automatically returned, without the need to submit an application.

– Two solutions have been adopted. Allowing the reinstatement of training so that drivers can reduce their penalty points. Return to the previous solution on the period of recording information on penalty points – he informed about changes in the draft amendment to the Road Traffic Law in an interview with TVN24 Biznes Jerzy Polaczek, former minister of transport and MP for Sejm of the Republic of Poland (PIS).

He pointed out that “a person who will apply for a reduction in the number of points by participating in trainings via WORD will be able to participate in them once every six months.”

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– It’s not like everyone can come a few times a year to reduce their points. Drivers will not be able to use this option for a period of one year from the date on which they were first issued with a driving licence. The same as those who previously received more than 24 penalty points – he reserved.

The voice of the transport industry, especially professional drivers

When asked what caused the changes, Jerzy Polaczek explained that it also concerns the transport industry.

– As a parliamentarian, I noted the voices of the transport industry, which reacted to the changed regulations at the beginning of the previous year in such a way that professional drivers in particular, with this increased penalty point score for minor offences, may be somewhat more affected. From the point of view of practice, this achievement of exceeding the limit of points may also take away their entitlements, which is their source of income – he explained, noting that the transport industry is “a quarter of European freight transport”. The MP referred to drivers who had already lost their driving licences.

– Drivers who have temporarily lost their driving license as a result of violation of traffic regulations will not need an additional application here, only such a driver’s driving license will be automatically returned – he noted another change.

He emphasized that “Poland is one of the leading places on the map of Europe when it comes to reducing accident victims.”

– In the last three years, the number of accidents and collisions has decreased by 30 percent. The social costs of accidents are reduced. These are free funds in the social security system, health care, lower costs of prosecution and police proceedings and many others – pointed out Jerzy Polaczek.

We go back to what it was before

Marek Konkolewski, a road safety expert, commented on the changes in the project with the words: “we are returning to normal”.

– We are in the pre-election period. I am rooting for these regulations to be amended, for the new regulations to be replaced by the well-known old regulations. And now voters are winked at to please them – he emphasized in an interview with TVN24 Biznes.

He reminded that when the first proposals to confiscate cars from drunk drivers, changes in the tariff of fines, as well as the revolution in the penalty points system appeared, he was one of the few who loudly said that sooner or later these regulations would be changed. “I didn’t wait long,” he said.

– The principle is simple. The winning line-up does not change. Penalty points have been in force in Poland since 1993. The vast majority of drivers were more afraid of penalty points than a fine. Unfortunately, the authorities came to the conclusion that it is necessary to make a revolution in an efficient, good system of penalty points and turned this system upside down – he said.

He explained that “for individual violations, you can receive as many as 15 penalty points, for example, when you do not give way to a pedestrian on a designated crossing. And drivers were deprived of the opportunity to participate in training courses, which gave the opportunity to write off six penalty points once every six months”.

– It is much easier to exceed the threshold of 24 penalty points for traffic violations and stand eye to eye with the examiner. The driving test is not easy.

In his opinion, “the extension of the period in the record of points to two years without the possibility of reducing penalty points has led to the fact that the vast majority of people balance on the verge of 24 penalty points”.

– The risk of losing your driving license is definitely higher. This also applies to professional drivers who have, colloquially speaking, the entire ‘alphabet’. These are professional drivers, couriers, bus and truck drivers and they have the same limit as amateur drivers – he explained.

“We’re back to what it was before,” he concluded.

In his opinion, “a similar fate awaits the scale of fines, pushed to the limits of the average Polish wallet.”

Read also: Important changes for drivers. A possible step backwards regarding the deletion of penalty points

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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