Last update 7.7.2019 | First published 24.5.2004
Polish traffic rules are mild and easy to understand. But take care, traffic police is everywhere and controls are massive.
To foreigners the Polish reactions to traffic offences seem mild. The fines are low and can even be negotiated on the spot. You can not automatically lose your license and the speeding fine system specifies the same fine for the same violation in all zones.
|The important numbers :|
|Limit – km/h||50/60(1||90||100||120||140|
|Fine +21 km/h(2||€48||€48||€48||€48||€48|
|Fine +41 km/h(2||€96||€96||€96||€96||€96|
|1) 60 km/h during night from 23.00 to 05.00, ie. the limit for license withdrawal is increased to 110 kph during the night.
2) Maximum fine.
3) You will get your license withdrawn in Poland but only in a built-up area with 50 kph plus. There is, however, a points system, with more than 24 points within 12 months you will lose your license. You can be given points for various offences at the same time. The maximum number of points for speeding is 10 points.
Member of the European cross-country fine cooperation. Any traffic fine may arrive at your home address.
Fines may automatically be shared between Austria, Chech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.
In May, 2014 the Polish Ministry of Interior introduced an immediate loss of the driving license for speeding. But only for exceeding the speed limit by 50 kph in a built-up area – and only for 3 months.
Foreigners will have to pay on the spot, Poles get a credit of 7 days.
For the complete list on Polish fines, check Taryfikator Mandatów i punktów karnych (Polish only).
NATO have good stuff on Polish traffic rules. Very good, very trustworthy.
For good advice, visit Driving in Poland.
|Poland in detail :|
|+ 1-10 km/h||50||€12||1|
|+ 11-20 km/h||100||€24||2|
|+ 21-30 km/h||200||€48||4|
|+ 31-40 km/h||300||€72||6|
|+ 41-50 km/h||400||€96||8|
|+ 51 km/h(2||500||€120||10|
|1) This is max fine
2) This fine is for the excessive speed only. If you get caught the Police can charge you with reckless driving. The fine will then increase, you may even get arrested.Source: Driving in Poland
Fines and reactions may change without any warnings.
Values in Euro are approximate.
The words below are all extracts of earlier comments to this web. The information may be outdated, things may have changed.
2004: Foreigners have to pay fines on the spot in Polish currency, although I have paid in other currencies. There are ever-changing tables specifying speeding fines. However, it is mostly down to your negotiating skills. For example, for 125 kph in a 70 kph zone, expect to start at around PLN 500 (about USD 125) and some guff about informing your Embassy. You should end up with paying PLN 100-200 and no further action.
There are no speed cameras. Enforcement is by hand-held radar. Almost invariably they lurk just inside built-up areas, often over a hill or round a corner, or at cross-roads with a 70 kph restriction. On a 300 km trip expect to go through at least three checks, up to about ten. On public holidays there are many more. Out of built-up areas and where there is no restriction, don’t worry.
2005: They’ve started using speed cameras and the number of cameras is increasing rapidly. They are installed no only in built up areas, but also on major intersections where the speed limit is posted lower than outside them.
2008: Since they started using mobile cameras, pictures are now taken both front and back..
2010: Negotiating with police is getting more and more difficult – especially if you meet a road police (“R” sign on the car door). They will give you a fine. But it depends. Few times they… let me go. Good advice: don’t try to fool out of them, telling you did nothing. If you admit your mistake, you would be in better position. You can try to ask, to get a ticket for different violation you did (for eg. no lights). Sometimes it works.”Since they started using mobile cameras, pictures are now taken both front and back..” – don’t worry. They won’t send any picture abroad. I can tell you more – none is interested in pictures with foreign machines (few times police said that oficially)
2011: The amount of unmarked police cars (mainly Vectra C, Passat, Megane, Octavia, Superb) with cameras is growing rapidly. You can find them on many roads. They are fast. If you are caught, don’t expect negotiations – whole duty is filmed, so guys can do nothing more than give you a ticket. Good news – police isn’t very interested in highways (no speed cameras there, small chance for meeting with a unmarked police car) so (on your own responsibility) you can go as fast as you want. 160-200 km/h is not an unusual speed. But be careful!!! Some people are not looking into mirrors!
- You have to carry all your documents with you: driving licence, international driving licence, passport, vehicle registration document and third party insurance. There is a fine of PLN 50 per document (but no more than 250 PLN in total) if any of these are missing but also a likely delay of up to an hour while they check everything and write it all down.
- Bikes have to have lights on all year round.
- Dark visors are legal and loud pipes are tolerated (although they annoy everyone IMO).
- There is still priority to the right. In general this is over-ruled by the standard diamond sign but watch out for junctions in town away from the main roads and some roundabouts.
- The standard of the roads is generally very poor, with worn-out, shiny asphalt and deep ruts from the trucks on the main routes. Bear this in mind before you attempt peg-scraping antics. You can often have far more fun finding a route using the “yellow” roads.
- Polish drivers tend to be fast but lacking in skill. Many have minimal experience and it is still very common to pay a bribe for a driving licence.