Select Page

HomePoland – Traffic rules

Poland Traffic Rules

Poland Traffic Rules by Travel Information Europe

Are you going on vacation to Poland? Then keep in mind that different traffic rules apply than in your country. We have listed the most important traffic rules. Among other things, those for traffic jams, mobile calls and the speed limit.

Traffic rules in general

Some important general traffic rules are mentioned here, including a number of traffic regulations that may deviate from your home country.

Drive safely

Driving under the influence

  • The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0.2 per mille.
  • It is prohibited to carry a person under the influence of alcohol as a passenger in the front of the car.
  • Traces of drugs in the blood are not allowed.

Mobile phone

  • Drivers of motor vehicles are prohibited from holding a mobile phone while driving.
  • Hands-free calling is allowed.

Safe walking

  • Pedestrians are required to walk on the left side of the road as much as possible if a pedestrian path is missing.
  • Pedestrians walking along the road must walk behind each other. Only on quiet roads and when visibility is good, two pedestrians are allowed to walk next to each other.
  • In early 2021, a law will enter into force that prohibits pedestrians from using a mobile phone while walking on, alongside or crossing a road. This prohibition also applies to pedestrian crossings.
  • Anyone in Poland who walks outside the built-up area in the dark, in low light or in poor visibility, is obliged to wear a reflector, clothing with reflective stripes or a reflective safety vest.

Basic traffic rules

  • You have to drive on the right and overtake on the left.

Priority

  • At an intersection, you must give way to drivers coming from the right, unless otherwise indicated by traffic signs.
  • A tram always has right of way at an intersection, even if it comes from the left.
  • You must give right of way to the driver of a bus or tram who indicates that he wants to leave a stop.

Roundabout

  • If you want to enter a roundabout, you must give way to drivers already on the roundabout when indicated by traffic signs.
  • Sometimes the traffic signs that regulate the right of way are missing at one roundabout. In that case, drivers from the right have right of way, as at an ordinary equivalent intersection.

Merging

  • Since December 2019, in Poland, merging is mandatory for slow-moving traffic when two lanes are merged. This means the following:
  • In the canceled lane, drivers must keep driving in their own lane until just before the narrowing and only then merge.
  • In the through lane, just before the narrowing, drivers must take turns giving one vehicle space to merge.
  • If you don’t drive to the narrowing or don’t give way to inserting traffic, you could be fined.

Rescue lane at traffic jam

  • In Poland you are obliged to keep a rescue strip (korytarz ratunkowy) in the middle clear for the emergency services in a traffic jam (as a result of an accident).
  • This requirement applies on roads with at least two lanes in each direction of travel.
  • Traffic in the left-most lane should turn left as much as possible and traffic in the other lanes should go as far to the right as possible.
  • You may also use the emergency lane to form a rescue lane.
  • If you do not cooperate in forming a rescue lane in a traffic jam, you can be fined.
  • Note: It is forbidden for motorcyclists to drive on the rescue lane in Poland, as this is only allowed for priority vehicles.

Overtaking

  • You have to overtake a moving tram on the right. On a one-way road, if there is insufficient space on the right, you may also overtake the tram on the left.
  • You may only carefully pass a stationary tram if there is a traffic island for passengers. If there is no traffic island, you must stop so that passengers can cross safely.

Standing still

  • It is forbidden to stop (or park) in places where your vehicle forms an obstacle to other traffic or endangers other traffic.
  • Moreover, you may not leave your vehicle stationary in the following places, among others:
  • Within 10 m of an intersection, tram level crossing, level crossing, pedestrian or bicycle crossing or road sign (if you block other road users from seeing the sign).
  • Within 15 m of a tram or bus stop.
  • On a bridge, under a viaduct or in a tunnel.
  • In a narrow street with a solid white line in the middle if other road users have to cross the white line to pass your vehicle.
  • Along a dashed white line along the side of the carriageway.

Parking

  • In principle, drivers may only park their vehicle on the right side of the road. However, on one-way roads and traffic-calmed two-way roads, parking is also allowed on the left.
  • If a vehicle is stationary for more than 1 minute, it is considered parking.
  • Vehicles with a permissible maximum mass up to and including 3500 kg may park in their entirety (heavier vehicles with only two wheels) on the pavement, provided there is at least 1.50 m space left for pedestrians.
  • Parking light is mandatory at night in unlit streets.
  • Parking is prohibited in the following places:
  • On a bridge or viaduct and in a tunnel.
  • Within 10 m of an intersection, tram level crossing, level crossing, or a pedestrian or bicycle crossing.
  • Within 15 m of a tram or bus stop.
  • Along a road with an interrupted or continuous white line on the side.
  • Parking meters are available in many Polish cities. In Warsaw, paid parking applies from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 6 pm.

Traffic lights

  • If the traffic light is red, but a green, deflecting arrow is also displayed, you as a driver may only turn in the direction of the arrow if you have given way to pedestrians and other road users.

Audible tones

  • In built-up areas, sounding signals are prohibited unless there is an immediate risk of a collision.

Environmental zones

  • Krak√≥w has established an environmental zone (strefa czystego transportu) in the city center in 2019. This zone is only accessible to hydrogen or electric vehicles. Exceptions to this rule and a map of the zone can be found at krakow.pl/aktualnosci/226585,29,komunikat,abc_strefy_czystego_transportu_na_kazimierzu.html.
  • The start and end of the zone are indicated by road signs with the text Strefa (zone) above the image of a green car.
Traffic rules car

Traffic rules car

Lighting

  • The use of dipped beam or daytime running light (including LED) during the day is mandatory.
  • Note: In tunnels, in low light and in poor visibility, daytime running light is not sufficient and dipped beam must be used.

Children

  • Children under 12 years of age and less than 1.50 m must be carried in an approved and appropriate child restraint or on an approved and appropriate booster seat.
  • If a child is transported with the back to the front in the front seat, the airbag must be deactivated.

Charge

  • The load must not protrude forward more than 50 cm from the foremost point of the vehicle and not more than 1.50 m from the driver’s seat. Forward projecting cargo must be marked with an orange flag or red and white striped sign and in the dark with lighting.
  • In width, the load may protrude a maximum of 23 cm on either side to a maximum width of 2.55 m. Cargo protruding to the side must be marked with an orange flag measuring at least 50 x 50 cm and in the dark with lighting.
  • The load may protrude a maximum of 2 m at the rear. Cargo that protrudes more than 50 cm at the rear must be equipped with a red and white striped sign and in the dark with lighting.

Bicycles

  • A reflective red and white striped sign must be attached to a bicycle rack with bicycles.
Traffic rules motorcycle

Traffic rules motorcycle

Helmet

  • The wearing of a helmet is mandatory for the driver and passenger.
  • You are allowed to transport children under 7 years old without a helmet on a motorcycle, but then you are not allowed to drive faster than 40 km / h.

Lighting

  • The use of dipped beam during the day is mandatory.

Passengers

  • A drunk passenger may only be transported in a sidecar.
Traffic rules moped

Traffic rules moped

  • There is no separate definition of a light moped in Poland; this falls under mopeds.
  • A moped should not be able to go faster than 45 km / h.

Helmet

  • Wearing a helmet is mandatory.

Lighting

  • Mopeds and mopeds must also use low beam during the day.

Passengers

  • A passenger may be carried on a motorcycle.
  • If you are transporting a child aged 7 or younger on your motorcycle as a passenger, you are not allowed to drive faster than 40 km / h.

Riding side by side

  • It is forbidden to drive side by side.
Traffic rules bicycle

Traffic rules bicycle

Helmet

  • It is not mandatory to wear a helmet.
  • However, there are plans to make the wearing of a bicycle helmet compulsory for children up to 12 years of age.

Mobile phone

  • Cyclists are prohibited from holding a mobile phone while driving. So you are not allowed to call, text and text messages while cycling.
  • Hands-free calling is allowed.

Lighting and other requirements

  • Bicycles must be equipped with fixed lights that may burn constantly as well as flash. The light on the front of the bicycle must have the color white or yellow and the color red on the back of the bicycle.
  • The bike must have a red reflector behind it.
  • The bicycle must also be equipped with a bell and properly functioning brakes.

Passengers

  • Children under 7 years of age may only be transported on the bicycle in an approved seat.

Trailer

  • It is allowed on cycle paths to ride with a bicycle to which a trailer is attached.

Riding side by side

  • It is forbidden to drive side by side.
  • However, it is allowed to ride side by side for the accompaniment of a cyclist under the age of 10.

Cycling under the influence

  • The maximum permitted blood alcohol level is 0.2 per mille.

Place on the road

  • When there is a cycle path, cyclists must use it.
  • On combined cycle paths / footpaths, the section intended for cyclists must be used. If no separation is provided, the speed must be adjusted so as not to endanger pedestrians.

Particularities

Groups

  • Cyclists are considered a group when the distance between them is no more than 5 m.
  • A group may consist of a maximum of 15 cyclists.
Winter tires

Winter tires

  • Recommended in winter conditions – The use of winter tires is not mandatory, but recommended.
    We recommend that you use tires marked with the snowflake symbol (3PMSF).
  • Note: In Germany, driving on winter tires is mandatory in winter conditions and it is not enough to bring snow chains.
Snow chains

Snow chains

  • Mandatory at sign – If snow chains are mandatory, this is indicated by a round, blue sign showing a white car tire with a snow chain.
  • The use of snow chains is only allowed on roads covered with snow or ice.

Studded tires

  • Prohibited – The use of studded tires is prohibited.