The allegation: getting a driver’s license in Poland is overly difficult. WORDs (voivodship driver’s licence examination centres) make money out of candidates who fail. Unfortunately, difficult exams do not increase safety on our roads.The Supreme Chamber of Control’s (NIK) report reveals that some candidates try even more than 50 times. In WORD in Katowice one candidate didn’t pass the theory test 81 times. Another one – in Częstochowa – 82 times. They both have been trying since 2012, at least once a month. They lost a few thousands złoty just on theory exams.
There is a resident of Kielce who is simply unbeatable. He took the practical test 64 times. This exam is more expensive because it costs 140 złoty. We should not forget about the extra 50-60 złoty per driving lesson.
30 hours (of training) is enough for only a few people – says Roman Zdziarski, an instructor with 40 years of experience. – My most persistent student had 300 hours. She passed the exam at the first attempt.
The description of these situations indicates the cause: money. WORDs have monopoly on the drivers’ examinations in Poland. They are their principal source of financing. Exams constitute 88% of income – nearly 60 million złoty. 70% are the payments for retakes. For example, WORD in Opole earned 3 million złoty on these.
In Koszalin, Szczecin, Opole and Gdańsk one out of four trials is successful. In Ostrołęka, Łomża, Suwałki and Rzeszów the pass rate is the highest (almost 50%).
It is not surprising that “examination tourism” is booming in our country – at least every 20th person changes the examination centre. They choose smaller cities, with less traffic and simpler system of roads. The residents of Warsaw tend to choose Łomża and Ostrołęka where the pass rate has been the highest for several years. Smaller cities have seen their chance to develop because of this – they build a lot of new WORDs even in places where there are no conditions for it. This phenomenon results in bad preparation of candidates in smaller cities and bad financial situation of the biggest ones. What do WORDs in big cities do? They raise the bar so high that it is possible only for one out of three candidates to pass the exam.
If the examiner wants to fail the student, they will always find an excuse. Regardless of the level of the candidate, they will examine them so as to be in tune with the statistics – reveals Roman Zdziarski.
Statistics in Poland show that two out of three trials end up in failure. In comparison, in Ireland and Scotland the pass rate is 50%, in Germany – even 70%. It would make sense, if it provided safety. Unfortunately, we have 2-3 times more lethal casualties. It is a Polish phenomenon.
Words are focused on profits, not safety – says Zdziarski, who has been trained in the UK. – I show each candidate how to drive on a motorway but I don’t see many “L” cars* there – the instructors do not want to loose so much petrol.
He thinks that another cause of such fatal safety statistics on Polish roads is instructors and examiners’ low level of knowledge. The NIK report confirms it.
The other side of the coin is the fact that growing number of people drive without a driver’s licence. It turns out that it is very hard to gain a driver’s licence but it is also extremely hard to lose it: the drivers who gather over 24 penalty points are not forced to pass the exam once again. It means that they still drive and might cause danger on our roads. NIK estimates there are at least half a million of them.
*“L” car – a driving training car, L stands for lesson.
If you enjoyed this post, please Like or share!
Now there is a change in WORD financing. So it seems the pass rate should be improved,.
I think the theory tests aren’t dso difficult you can try for example that https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=prawo.jazdy.testy for Android you’ll see. The practice is harder to pass.
Garbage from start to finish. Pass rates in the UK vary the same way, depending on the location were you take them. Cities are harder to pass driving tests in: obviously.
Tests in Poland used to be easier. NOW they have gotten harder, in response to appalling road safety statistics in Poland (compared to the rest of Europe). I believe this is also because of pressure from the EU. Since all driving licenses are equally valid in the EU, it is unfair for countries such as Poland to allow people to pass their driving tests as easily as used to be the case.
And it takes TIME for these changes to have an effect. Simply making tests harder, won’t reduce road accidents in the same year. It will probably take as long as a generation.
Driving instructors were/are also garbage. THIS is the main problem. I had 5 instructors in Poland, only one of whom was “ok”. The others: their attitudes were condescending, patronizing, and they failed to teach me any notable good driving habits. One of them even pressed clutch pedal for me when I was changing gears, without me knowing. It nearly led to an accident, because I found the break pedal instead, and was doing 80kmph on a fast road.
The same instructor, the same day, rolled down the window and started waving his arms and swearing at another driver for not giving way.
Unprofessional lunatics. If this is the “standard” in Poland for driving instructors, I am not surprised people fail their tests more often. As for the outliers who can’t pass a theory test after their 80th attempt, you get these kinds of “special” people everywhere you go.
This is not the fault of the examination centers. It is the job of the DRIVING SCHOOLS to PREPARE their students for the exams. I’ve not seen any evidence to suggest that the tests in Poland are much harder, if harder at all, than tests in the UK. It is the job of the DRIVING SCHOOLS to hire COMPETENT and PROFESSIONAL instructors that are capable of preparing their students for driving tests. Those driving schools which fail to do this, won’t attract students, and will go bankrupt. Good.
For £20 an hour in the UK I got better value for money than anywhere in Poland. Yes, it’s expensive, but you actually LEARN something.
I just read this part of the article: “He thinks that another cause of such fatal safety statistics on Polish roads is instructors and examiners’ low level of knowledge. The NIK report confirms it.”
So yes, you mention that the quality of available instructors in Poland is bad. 2 lines in the entire article dedicated to this fact. It’s such a glaring fact that I do not need to see tables of data to be aware of it. My own personal experiences taught me this, and the various stories I’ve heard from other people I know who also took driving lessons in Poland.
It is not true, tests were always very hard, practical test was a nightmare, it was actually made bit easier recently because it was just shocking, you were supposed to park within 2cm on a special square with line lanes painted on it, they only left one maneouver now (which is still too many because it’s a pointless test as you gonna drive on real roads not imaginary ones made with brush). Pass rate of practical exam was 20%, now it’s higher, theory used to be 80% now it’s less because they added more questions although you always needed very good memory for it because questions make no sense whatsoever, they’re designed to weed out people.
The problem is lack of Police enforcement. There are few patrolman, driving around looking. The most they do is run almost worthless stops and cameras. There is no fear of being pulled over for aggressive driving , etc
Well, it’s not just about the way people are taught, it’s also about polish road infrastructure which, compared to countries from the diagram, is much worse.
I’ve seen far more accidents on Polish fast roads, such as motorways, newly built expressways (dwupasmówki), etc. than on slow country roads with holes in them.
People tend to actually slow down when they think there is a risk of their car getting damaged. This leads to fewer accidents.
In fact, the most accidents and close calls that I have seen BY FAR in Poland is on the various fast routes between Gliwice and Katowice international airport. All brand new roads, and the people who use them just CAN’T HELP going faster, weaving in and out between lanes like lunatics. Especially on Sundays. What. The. Hell. is wrong with Polish drivers on Sundays?
No there are many accidents whenever you go, so many old intersections designed for 1 car an hour, now everybody has some shitwagen. Only recently they’re starting to make roundabouts, uk is full of them and it’s impossible to have serious accident on one, that’s why it’s so safe there.