Drivers, technical car condition and speed under control
Winter holidays have just began. First group of students and teachers from the Śląskie, Pomorskie, Podkarpackie, Lubelskie and Łódzkie voivodships have a break in their studies. Increased traffic on access roads to popular places for winter recreation should be expected, i.e. on the A4 motorway, where MOP Kępnica (Silesian Voivodship) is located. This is where journalists met Minister of Infrastructure, Andrzej Adamczyk, Chief Inspector of Road Transport, Alvin Gajadhur, Deputy Voivode of Silesia, Robert Magdziarz and Provincial Inspector of Road Transport in Katowice, Anna Sokołowska-Olesik, who inaugurated the next instalment of the ITD "Safe Coach" campaign on Saturday (11 January).
“This is another time when we confirm that road safety is our priority, when we confirm that the safety of travellers, especially children on winter or summer holidays is our priority,”said Andrzej Adamczyk, Minister of Infrastructure. “Every year during the summer holidays, but also during the winter holidays, inspectors are closely paying attention to buses carrying passengers and eliminating those vehicles that threaten safety,”added the minister.
The first inspections under the campaign have already taken place. During the briefing inspectors directed coaches to a modern, mobile diagnostic station, which allows to verify the technical condition of the vehicle in detail. Drivers who passed the controls received the ITD crocodile mascot from the Minister Adamczyk and inspector Gajadhur. Increased coach inspections will take place until the last day of the winter break. Inspectors will check the technical condition of vehicles, including braking system, steering, the condition of the tires and lighting, which are the elements that determine a safe journey. ITD will also examine the condition of drivers. Drivers must be sober and rested. Meanwhile, it was the violations of working time that were the most common reasons for fines that bus drivers were punished last summer.
“A driver can drive a maximum of 10 hours a day, twice a week. On other days, he cannot be behind the wheel for more than 9 hours, and after 4.5 hours of driving he must have a mandatory 45-minute break,” reminded the Chief Inspector of Road Transport.
Passenger cars will also be checked during the holidays i.e. car speed controls, among others speed camera system, managed by the General Road Transport Inspectorate. There are 432 speed cameras across the country, 30 devices for staple speed measurement and 20 devices that catch drivers entering the intersection at a red light.
“I appeal for drivers to adapt their speed to the prevailing conditions. The weather can vary, and the roads can be slippery. Unfortunately, some drivers ‘forget’ all the time about removing their legs from gas. During last year’s holidays, we noted over 200,000 violations regarding speeding,”Alvin Gajadhur informed.
Checks at designated points, but also after notification
Inspection patrols will watch over the safety of travellers leaving for winter holidays in designated, permanent control points (detailed list is in the attached file - the points will be open in provinces where the holidays are taking place right now), as well as on fast traffic routes. Checks will also be possible after prior notification, e.g. of parents or guardians. Interest in this form of security is increasing. Reports should be directed to the local voivodship road inspectorate by phone or via e-mail. Inspectors request to be notified in advance so that it is possible to schedule inspections on the day of departure of the bus.
Andrzej Adamczyk and Alvin Gajadhur appeal, “We request to all tour operators, but also to carriers providing transport services: get ready to leave and drive safely. The Road Transport Inspectorate will inspect your vehicles. We also urge parents to report any doubts to the local ITD.”
“Take care of your coaches and drivers’ health so that the transport takes place safely to the dreams of parents who give their children to their carriers,” added Robert Magdziarz, Deputy Voivode of Silesia.
After the winter holidays of 2019 it's better, but ...
During last year’s holidays, ITD inspectors checked nearly 1,100 buses. The inspection of nearly 50 vehicles ended with the registration certificate being retained. In 8 cases it was necessary to issue a driving ban. 250 penalty fines were imposed on drivers. Although the situation on the roads is getting better, the incident from last year’s holidays from the Małopolska province in which 55 children were transported in an inefficient coach and with exceeding the speed limit shows that the activities of the inspection services must be continued.
The Road Transport Inspectorate not only controls but also educates. During the briefing a special safety lesson was held for children who could learn about BRD principles by solving puzzles, colouring books or games. Regulations alone will not improve the traffic situation if the users of these roads do not change their negative habits. That is why it is worth forming an informed driver or pedestrian from an early age. Every road user must take care of safety. It is the man who has a decisive influence on what is happening on the road. The Road Transport Inspector appeals to everyone to consider, control the speed and adapt the ride to the prevailing conditions.