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28 February 2008

Driving around in Poland


One of the nice things about the car registration system in Poland is that unlike 3rd party insurance is included with the annual registration fee, similar to the Australian system.

This makes total sense - you are assured that all drivers have the minimum legally required insurance cover, unlike in London where I see that 1 in 10 drivers aren't properly insured.

The plus side of this is that you can lend anyone your car as long as they have a valid driver's licence. Gone to the pub and decided to drink? No problem, let someone else drive back...


As everybody knows the quality of the roads isn't great, but what do you expect after years of underinvestment? The money is pouring in from the EU and they are busy building motorway networks. Give it a few more years and the roads won't be so bad. They'll just be full of traffic instead.


One of the pleasures (or terrors, depending on how you look at it) of driving over here for me, is the Polish custom for overtaking at any possible place, regardless of road-markings or oncoming traffic. Slow car in front? Overtake them anyway, the slow car will pull to the side to make room for you and the oncoming truck will do the same. Brilliant.


As of 2007 you have to drive with dipped headlights on 24/7. In previous years this was just required in winter months, now it is obligatory all year round. I know they thought about introducing this at EU level and dropped the idea because the enviromentalists said it would hurt the environment with the extra energy consumption. Personally I think it's a great idea, it makes vehicles much easier to spot at distance or in bad weather and if that saves lives then it's worth it.

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