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.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.
|Country||Right of way
|Right of way
Near the curb and showing intent
|Right of way
Near the curb
|Canada (varies by province)|
|USA (varies by state)|
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