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Safe holidays with ITD

Intensified holiday inspections have started. The technical condition of vehicles, including coaches, as well as speed, permissions and sobriety of drivers have been inspected by the inspectors of the Road Transport Inspection. The Minister of Infrastructure, Andrzej Adamczyk, the Chief Road Transport Inspector, Alvin Gajadhur, and the Vice-Marshal of the Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Łukasz Smółka, spoke about the activities carried out during the holiday trips during a briefing in Głogoczów.

“Safe Coach” campaign - holidays 2021

The “Safe Coach” campaign has started. Inspectors check tour coaches on routes leading to holiday resorts, along the main communication routes, at assembly points, and at specially designated checkpoints.

Detailed inspections, verification of not only documents, permissions and technical condition of the vehicle, but also the condition of the driver, including his working time - these are the elements that affect the safety of travellers. Therefore, when planning a trip, tour operators can ask for it to be carried out by provincial road transport inspectorates - said Alvin Gajadhur. - The safety of holiday trips is influenced by a number of factors. When planning a trip, in order to make it safe and comfortable, it is worth taking into account the time necessary to carry out the checks, but also the driver's working time or stopping time. Ignoring the driver’s fatigue is risky. It has a negative impact on the reaction time and assessment of the traffic situation - added the Head of ITD.

In Głogoczów, at the checkpoint on the route to Zakopane, inspections were carried out from the early morning hours with the use of a mobile diagnostic station.

Safety during holiday trips, especially for children and youth, has been our priority for years. We take a number of steps to minimize the risk of accidents. We invest in modern and safe road infrastructure, but also in new control tools. I am convinced that more and more modern equipment enabling comprehensive inspections, such as those carried out today by the Road Transport Inspection, will bring positive results - said Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure.

During inspections, inspectors check the condition of the most important systems from the point of view of safety: braking and steering, as well as lights and tires.

In Głogoczów, we checked 10 coaches, there were some minor faults, fortunately they did not disqualify the vehicles from further driving. I appeal to carriers and drivers to take care of the technical condition of vehicles. We also place great emphasis on the analysis of drivers' working time. We verify whether drivers maintain appropriate rest standards, and whether there are no violations in the length of transports performed - this is how Paweł Kucharczyk, the Małopolska Provincial Road Transport Inspector, summarized the first hours of coach inspections in Głogoczów.

We are very happy that the “Safe Coach” campaign is inaugurated in Małopolska. Małopolska has become a very safe region in recent years. In 2018, unfortunately, more than 226 people died on Małopolska's roads, while 156 died in 2020. Our goal is to descend below 100 by 2025 and so that no one lost life on Małopolska's roads by 2050 - emphasized Łukasz Smółka, Vice Marshal of the Voivodeship Lesser Poland. - I encourage drivers who will be transporting their own families to also take care of the condition of their own cars. It is very important that it is safer on the roads in Małopolska, where during the summer and winter holidays the traffic is increased - he added.

When planning this year’s trips, organizers should also remember about the need to follow sanitary rules. Last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, coach traffic was much smaller. However, ITD inspectors carried out control activities and responded to reports from guardians and parents. More than 1,150 coaches were inspected then. Due to the identified irregularities, out of concern for the safety of passengers, in 36 cases it was necessary to retain the registration documents, and 6 coaches did not continue the journey.

Adjust the speed to the traffic conditions

Mismatching speed to traffic conditions is still one of the main causes of road accidents. The most dangerous road sections are controlled by the automatic traffic supervision system. That's about 500 recording devices. CANARD inspectors also patrol roads and carry out speed checks using portable devices.

This year, the speed camera system registered over 831.4 thousand. overspeed cases. Most of the offenders, in nearly 92%, were drivers of passenger cars. The record holders had over 150 km/h on the meters.

Let’s adjust the speed to the prevailing road and weather conditions. At any time, the weather can deteriorate and suddenly worsen. Haste is a bad advisor. The effects of reckless driving are tragic. Let us remember that we are not alone on the road, let us respect each other, let us not make driving difficult, let us not lead to dangerous situations, be guided by common sense and responsibility for our own and others’ lives - appealed the Chief Road Transport Inspector, Alvin Gajadhur.

During last year’s vacation, speed cameras registered over 240,000. speeding and over 9 thousand cases of failure to comply with traffic lights. The drivers exceeded the speed by an average of 23 km/h, and the infamous record holder in Dzierzążnia in Mazovia was driving at a speed of 180 km/h.

Heavy transport under supervision

Simultaneously with the coach inspections, the inspectors will check the technical condition of the trucks as well as the working hours and the sobriety of the drivers. In recent days, inspectors have revealed cases of driving trucks by drunk drivers. A truck driver, who lost control of the vehicle on the bend of the road and fell out of the way, had almost 1 permille of breath alcohol. Additionally, the driver did not comply with the regulations on working time. A Belarusian driving a Russian truck had as much as 1.9 permille of exhaled alcohol. He couldn’t control the vehicle, he had trouble blowing the breathalyser, but he got behind the wheel anyway.

Inspectors will also check that truck drivers comply with holiday traffic bans. During the holiday season, vehicles and truck combinations with a GVM of over 12 tons, which are not exempt from the applicable bans, may not travel on the roads:

  • on Fridays from 18:00 to 22:00,
  • on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • on Sundays from 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.

Certain groups of vehicles are exempted from these restrictions, e.g. trucks transporting perishable goods, medicines and medicaments, fuels and live animals. Vehicles taking part in rescue and humanitarian operations as well as those that help in removing breakdowns or natural disasters can also move freely on the roads.

Remember!

Notification of the willingness to carry out the inspection should be made a few days before departure. Contact the locally competent provincial road transport inspectorate (www.gitd.gov.pl/en/contact/regional-inspectorates-of-road-transport/).

  • The journey should be planned taking into account the time necessary to carry out the checks, driver'’ working time, stops.
  • Every 4.5 hours of driving, the driver should take a break of at least 45 minutes. The daily driving limit is 9 hours, it may be extended to 10 hours, not more than twice a week.
  • A coach used by children and adolescents up to the age of 18 should be marked at the front and rear of the vehicle with yellow signs with a black symbol for children.
  • If the coach is equipped with seat belts, both driver and passengers must wear them.
  • Bus crossings must be empty. Using them cannot be hindered eg. by left luggage.
  • Passengers should follow the basic rules while driving. It is dangerous, for example, to walk on the coach while driving, leaning against the door, loud behaviour that may distract the driver.
  • Be careful during stops, which should take place in designated areas. Do not get on or off the coach from the side of the road, or get onto the road from outside the vehicle.

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