Did you hear already about changes in Polish Highway Code 2022? It has brought a severe tightening of fines for breaking road traffic regulations. This is a follow up of article which I described previously under traffic changes 2021. However, 2022 brought much more changes, except the draconian rise of fines. So, allow me to highlight the list of subjects:
- The changes that came into force on 1 January
- Modification of penalty points
- Higher OC liability rates for road pirates
- Changes in driver exams
- Modifications and new rules for driver training
- Vehicle registration plate
Polish Highway Code 2022 – Amendments that have already entered into force
Amendments to the Highway Code are primarily a strong hit in the pockets of road pirates. Due to the new tariff of fines, the amount of tickets for the most serious traffic violations, i.e. exceeding the speed limit above 30 kph, overtaking at pedestrian crossings, but also drinking and driving, has increased significantly. Licence holders, can pay a fine of several thousand zlotys for not complying with the regulations. Yes – several thousand.
Amendments to the Highway Code were specified in the regulation of the Prime Minister and have been in force since 1st January 2022. The regulation states that the fine for speeding up to 30 kph is up to 400 zł. When exceeding the speed from 31 to 40 kph, you will pay up to 800 zł. Higher speed means even higher penalties and for exceeding 41-50 kph you have to take into account a fine of 1000 zł. With 51-60 kph it is already 1500 zł, and 61-70 kph is as much as 2000 zł!
Road hogs who allow themselves to drive more than 71 kph faster than allowed, will pay as much as 2500 zł. The Polish Road Code 2022 puts also higher penalties for using a phone while driving (500 zł). Another thing, failure to give way to a pedestrian on a pedestrian crossing or entering the crossing (1,500 zł) and parking a vehicle in a place dedicated to the disabled (800 zł). The new Highway Code is a real revolution in fines, because all penalties for offences have gone up.
Modification of penalty points – Polish Highway Code 2022
How will the method of calculating penalty points change? The new penalty point calculator is a real whip for those who ignore the rules of the highway code. The new tariff includes as many as twelve offences, for which the driver will be punished with 15 penalty points. So, for which offences can you, as a driver receive the highest amount of penalty points?
- overtaking at a pedestrian crossing or in front of pedestrians
- exceeding the legal speed above 50 kph outside built-up areas
- exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 kph in built-up areas
- overtaking a vehicle that was driving in the same direction but stopped to give way to pedestrians
- failure to stop for inspection and fleeing, causing a road accident or bringing about a traffic disaster
This is not all…
…because 15 penalty points will be awarded for failure to stop the vehicle when a disabled person crosses the road. Also, failure to comply with the signal ordering the stopping of the vehicle or failure to give way to the driver of the vehicle turning on the crossroad and failure to give way to a pedestrian crossing the road. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs will also receive 15 penalty points. I will dedicate a separate article for the consequences of drink driving,
which I will release next week. which is already available here.
Certainly, the amendments to the Highway Code are also a simple way to quickly lose your driving licence for dangerous driving. The current penalty point schedule stipulates that drivers who have had a driving licence for less than a year will lose their entitlement with earning 20 penalty points. On the other hand, all drivers with longer experience will have to change from a car to the bus, with receiving a total of 24 points for dangerous driving. Additionally, points will be removed after 2 years from the date of payment of the fine.
Just to give you full picture. Last year you would get fined from 400 to 500 zł and 10 penalty points for speeding over 51 kph. So, I can tell you, that 2 500 zł instead of 500 zł talks to my imagination. I am attaching below a list of estimates of penalties. It should not be a problem to understand it, despite the fact, that it is Polish.
Higher liability rates (OC) for road pirates
What does this mean? The easiest way to explain this is if a driver gets fined for breaking the highway code, his insurer will find out. The amount of the third party liability insurance (OC insurance, which I described in details here) will depend on the history of offences. The Road Code 2022 allows the insurer to have access to the CEPiK database, and thus to all fines received by the car owner. The number of penalty points and fines will have a real impact on how high the rate of civil liability will be paid. You can check the amount of penalty points available on your license via mObywatel mobile app.
On the basis of the offence, insurers will assess the risk of such a driver and calculate accordingly by setting the liability rate. So here we go with naturally the burning is question. Can drivers who drive legally, who do not have any penalty points, count on a reduction in third party liability insurance? Unfortunately, there is no good information here. The Road Code 2022 provides drivers who break the regulations with higher rates of civil liability. The reward for those of us who do not have penalty points is consolation, that we will not be penalized more for insurance.
Changes in driver exams – Polish Highway Code 2022
The changes to the Highway Code in 2022 are modified not only for current drivers, but also for future drivers. The ministry has already announced the introduction of new rules for the organization of exams. The requirements for candidates for instructors and examiners will be also increased. All this to increase safety on Polish roads. As it turns out, the difficulty in obtaining a Polish driving license (click here to read more about driving license) does not translate into the number of fatal accidents at all.
Therefore, the Polish Highway Code 2022 provides, first of all, with new requirements for candidates for instructors and examiners. The ministry will introduce stricter requirements for candidates for the instructor, lecturer and examiner. The frequency of their improvement workshops will increase from one to two years. Amendments to the Highway Code also provides resignation from the division of driver training centers (Ośrodek Szkolenia Kierowców – OSK) into ordinary centers and centers that meet additional requirements. However, full details are not given yet. But…
Modification to the new rules for driver training
The ministry introduces for young drivers the possibility of training in the form of an extended course under the supervision of an accompanying person, the legal guardian of the trained person. In practice, this means that a parent can teach a young driver to drive. These changes apply to a category B driving license. A person who is 17 years old and who has previously completed the practical and theoretical part of the training will be eligible for the training. This reminds me of a model from the Netherlands. It is great possibility to get additional experience with much lower cost of such practical hours.
Such training, under the supervision of a tutor, would take place in a specially marked car. According to the ministry, such additional drives will allow the candidate driver to better handle the road traffic and better prepare the young driver for independent driving. The next changes come down to the rules of conducting the exams. Next year, young drivers will no longer be provided with exam questions and their scenarios, visualizations and descriptions. In short – driving licence tests are to be classified and will no longer be published for public information.
The Ministry of Infrastructure is to adopt a bill on this matter in the fourth quarter of 2022. So, if you were hesitating and trying to find a proper time to do your driving licence – it might be your last chance, to do it with the current rules and less restrictive regulations.
The registration plate assigned to your car
On 1st February this year, new regulations entered into force, introducing another modification to the Highway Code. These rules are supposed to facilitate a lot and relate to the preservation of the current registration number, including registration plates. This will be possible when buying a used car. As the ministry calculates, this will save about 100 zł on registration process. This means that the new car owner will be able to keep the “old” numbers. No matter what province the car comes from.
Of course, if the number plates are damaged or illegible, the official will not agree to leave them. Once again – I need to say, that it starts looking similar to the systems known in Netherlands or the UK, where registration plates are not related with place of living of a car owner. However, such registration of a used car under your name is possible in every post office and it takes only a few minutes. I really hope, that we will have such system implemented in Poland as well. It’s so convenient, compared to our current state.
Summary of Polish Highway code 2022
What other changes are waiting for drivers in 2022? From July, among other things, every new car sold in the European Union will have to be equipped with systems recording data while driving. We are talking about the so-called black boxes. This is a new regulation of the European Union, which indicates that the so-called black boxes would record the location and parameters of the vehicle on an ongoing basis, such as its speed, acceleration rate, braking power, level of inclination and the activity of safety systems and fastened seat belts.
Hmmm… Total invigilation? Getting a fine, without police control? I do agree, that we need to drive safer. So in my case, higher fines help to think twice before I will hit the gas. But black boxes in the car? I personally see it as possibility to save a lot of a life’s, but also a serious threat to our privacy. What’s are your thoughts? Share your input in the comments below – let me know what are you thinking.
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Special thanks to Eamon Gosney, who has helped with proofreading of this article.