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A law to give pedestrians the right of way at zebra crossings in Poland has failed. A senate resolution rejected the amendment to the law on road traffic, with 197 for, 217 against, and 24 abstaining.

image zebra crossing bowling pins

Wait a very long time, then run like hell

The hard-to-believe fact (for foreigners) is that in Poland, a pedestrian at a crossing does not have right of way and must wait for all cars to pass before they can enter the crossing. We covered the proposal a few weeks back, and the article generated a huge amount of interest, at one point even bringing down our web server from heavy traffic.

The main arguments against the law change were that Polish drivers are used to driving across pedestrian crossings without pause and could not handle the change of becoming “responsible to stop”, and that many crossings would need upgrading for visibility.

Whether it is safer right now for the Poles is a matter for big debate, but one thing is for sure, it is certainly more dangerous right now for any tourist or ex-pat, as typically we are not made aware of this law when living or visiting here.

It’s not like there are warning signs at the airport or train arrival areas.
So if you know a foreigner living in Poland, or are expecting guests, do them a favour and tell them don’t walk, give way.

Once again here is the comparison table with the addition of a strikethrough.

Comparison

Country Right of way

Always
Right of way

Near the curb and showing intent
Right of way

Near the curb
Poland
Poland 1/1/17
Australia
Britain
Canada (varies by province)
Hungary
New Zealand
Romania
Slovenia
Slovakia
USA (varies by state)
Austria
Belgium
Bulgaria
Czech Republic
Denmark
Germany
Netherlands
Switzerland
France
Norway

Apologies for being a bit tardy with this news as it came out a couple of weeks ago.
 
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