Poland: better laws for cyclists
22 kwietnia 2011

(wersja polska) mala fotka

To our non-polish speaking cycling friends all over the world:

On 22nd April 2011 Poland's president, mr Bronisław Komorowski signed the Highway Code amendment that will greatly improve the legal framework for cycling in Poland.

Poland's Highway Code will now conform with the internatonal Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (1968) and cyclists riding straight ahead on a cycle track, cycle lane, the roadway, or a bus lane will have priority over cars turning right (or left). Cyclists will no longer have to yield to traffic when entering bicycle crossings, unless road signs state otherwise.

The new Highway Code will allow cyclists to ride two or more abreast unless they obstruct other traffic, overtake slowly moving cars on the right, carry children in bicycle trailers and ride in the middle of the lane in junctions, especially on roundabouts (in Poland, cyclists are obliged to ride as close to road verge as possible, which made them less visible and cars often took them over within the lane). Cyclists and other non-motorised vehicle drivers will no longer be obliged to stop to allow other vehicles to overtake them.

The new law legalises pedelecs (up to 250W power, as in Directive 2002/24/EC on type approval of two or three wheeled motor vehicles exemption) and trikes up to 0.9 m wide (bicycles had to have only two wheels until now). Human Powered Vehicles wider than 0.9 metres will be rickshaws. Cycle track and cycle lane are redefined, and a novelty - Advanced Stop Line for cyclists has been introduced into the law.

The new law will come into force most likely in the mid May 2011 - two weeks after it is published in the Official Journal of the State.

The new law is the result of eight year campaign of Miasta dla rowerów (Cities for Bicycles network, www.miastadlarowerow.pl ) and three year activity of All Party Cycling Group of Poland's Parliament, led by Ewa Wolak, MP.

Marcin Hyła

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