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poniedziałek, października 03, 2005

PolBlogcast: Poland's Car-nage

PolBlogcast: Poland's Car-nage

Another PolBlogcast

In this PolBlogcast we discuss the sorry state of Polish driving. This was prompted by a number of high profile accidents, lately, a tragic bus crash, that left 11 children dead, and just yesterday a fatal accident involving Olympic swimming champion Otylia Jedrzejczak. And only last month a prominent Polish politican died in a car accident. And it's not only PolBlog that notices a problem, a fellow Warsaw blogger at the Warsaw Station asks the same general question we do, "What is going on?"

Should cyclists surrender?

According to statistics, over 30% of road fatalities in Poland are pedestrians, that's roughly 2,000 people, significantly above the EU average. In many EU countries, when you walk across the street, zebra crossings act as a yield signal to traffic, rather than functioning as a cross-hair like it appears to in Warsaw. How safe is it for pedestrians and cyclists on Polish roads? Tell us what you think...

What Province in Poland recorded the highest increase of car accidents last year? -- Answer our Poll

Can't we just all get along?

Another possible contributor to overall car risk is the infamous Polish driving course (and test). Bribery is purported to often be more influential than actual driving ability. And then there is the cultural dimension that merits attention: social space in Poland is closer than in many western-EU countries, this may express itself in the way people drive as well. A casual observer would notice plenty of erratic lane changing and dangerously condensed spacing between fast moving cars.

Szerokiej drogi! (May the road be wide!)

As always send us your comments!

PolBlogcast: Poland's Car-nage
(Under 10 minutes)

Links mentioned in this PolBlogcast:

1) Car Accident Vocabulary Guide for English Speakers in Poland - Car accidents
2) Polish Ministry of Infrastructure (English)
Car accident Photos (no blood, don't worry)
European Mobility Week - Warsaw not participating for past 3 years. The Polish Site
5) Informative page about
'No Drive Day in Poland 2004'
Critical Mass Project - Warsaw -- Get your ass to Critical Mass!

A Polish driving joke:
A guy was returning home from a cross country business trip. He'd spent many hours behind the wheel and wasn't paying much attention to driving drowsy. He turned on the radio, to keep himself awake -- there was a live report: 'A madman is driving against the traffic on a main road towards Warsaw' -- "ONE madman? I see HUNDREDS of them!" the guy commented irritatingly.

PolBlog - News Poland 24/7
Poland's first (almost) daily English-language news blog.
Read the news then share your views


At 5.10.05, Blogger aawil said...

One thing I noticed in my 2 trips to poland is the roads seem alot more dangerous than in the US. People drive pretty recklessly over there. Which is strange because from what I've been told the driving test is quite a bit harder than here. A car in the city seems more trouble than it's worth given the price of gas and public transportation is pretty reasonable.

At 5.10.05, Blogger beatroot said...

To continue the 'cultural aspect' of Polish driving...Poles love to find cheeky ways around a problem. This is the untranslatable verb combinowac...kind of using your wits, etc. So, driving along in lane and spotting a little tiny gap in the slower lane where, maybe, just maybe, they can fit the car in there and then overtake on the wrong side, and maybe, just maybe, they can steal 0.000001 seconds off their driving time, is seen as a good and worth while thing to do!

And there is relief on the sidewalk either. There your life is in danger of speeding pushbikes!

and if you take to the bus or tram for safety then you have to be prepared to risk life and limb when the Polish babcia decides that it is time to get off and YOU ARE IN THE WAY OF THE DOOR SO THEREFORE YOU ARE GOING TO DIE...


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