Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Safety on the streets.




Streets in our country are not only bad in their quality and look. We also have to deal with problem related to people who drive on these streets. In the first part of this blog I would like to take a look at physical condition of the streets. Then I will focus on the problems such as drink-driving, exceeding speed limits and rude driving.

Despite that streets are being improved, most of them still are in a condition leaving much to be desired. Experts say that the main problem is in the type of facing. All new streets in Poland are made from asphalt, which is quite flexible and vulnerable to creating holes. That's why new streets after just a year or even few months of using have to be patched in many places. Concrete is thought to be the best material to build streets because it's solid and rugged. However, it is also very expensive. Nevertheless, we should answer the question what is more efficient and profitable: paying for patching cheap streets or paying for expensive streets which will last for a long time.

Whatever the answer would be, there should something done. The street isn't supposed to be a place where people are stressed and afraid of driving because of the holes which sometimes are really sizeable.

Now, I would like to throw some light on culture in the streets. Once, there was a survey concerning the skills of drivers. The percent of people claiming that their driving skills are very good amounted to 98%. Still, there are too many minor as well as serious accidents. The question is if the other 2% cause these accidents along with drink-driving.?

In my opinion there are three main reasons responsible for the number of accidents as well as enormous traffic jams. These are: egoism, lack of humility and of course not obeying the rules.

Many of us are in a hurry at least sometimes. We run out of our house with a piece of bread in our mouth and jump into the car. Then we push the pedal to the max and rush to our workplace. Everything is perfect until we are stopped by a jam. Then we start to contrive how to overcome the jam or just hop before the car driving ahead of us. The problem most of us never consider is that we are not the only ones in a hurry. Imagine that there is a jam and everybody wants to be in front of everybody. That's were the street conflicts and later stress are born. That reminds of the most common situation. For instance, let's take a junction with lights and there are two lanes. One lane is going ONLY to the left. The other one is going only straight. Now picture that there are a lot of cars waiting to turn left and the lane to go straight is empty. What many people would think in such situation?- "Hmm, I can just jump on the empty lane and hop in just before the first car. I won't stand here like these suckers." But what would be if all of us were this smart? It is statistically proved that such people worsen the fluency of traffic even by 40%. People from the traffic managment say that if everybody was driving properly without changing lanes all the time and without exceeding speed limits, the jams would reduce even by 20-30%.

The next subject I would like to emphasize is driving after drugs and alcohol. Everybody condemns these activities but still there are many people who do that. Moreover, there are people who denounce drink-driving and simultaneously drive after alcohol. The excuse are that: "Oh, I live just four blocks away" or "I had a couple of drinks but I feel good" etc. I would like to cite one of the conversations I had with my acquintance. His opinion was that drink drivers should be separated or eliminated. Once however, I heard that him and the other two guys were driving when they all were drunk. They were speeding 130km/h on one street but all the roads there had a priority and the speed limit was 40 km/h. When I heard this story, I shouted at him that they were total idiots and if I was there, I would have beat up everyone of them. He was outraged and said that I was stiff, because he was driving with his best friend and he had trusted him. I told him then that he should imagine the situation that his father would be driving into that street(he would have priority in joining the traffic). I asked what would be if they crashed into his father's car and killed him. After this my friend said that he never thought of that this way and that he would never ever do that again.

I also fear that such idiot could kill someone from my family. I know that someone can have a bad moment in his life and in a result get drunk and then drive. However, I don't feel obliged to share his sadness and I don't have to pay for his problems or fun by losing someone close.

19 comments:

  1. I just recently got my driving license and I must say that I really enjoy driving the car. But more and more often I notice that it can be very nerve-racking and frustrating at times. Before I passed my exam I used to be astonished when someone got aggravated or upset while driving. I used to tell them to ease up and wind down. But now I understand just how many dangerous situations occur every day on polish roads and how maddening they can be.
    I think that polish roads leave a lot to wish for but if everyone would adjust their speed and manner of driving to the conditions on the roads the number of accidents could be reduced by far.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In my opinion the biggest problem isn't bad condition of Polish roads but rather our drivers. I think that it's connected with mentality of Polish people so it's difficult to fight with that. I know that in some countries (Belgium, Swiss) if there is traffic sign "speed limit 30 K/Ph" people are driving 30, in Poland it will never be possible ("uhlan fantasy"). I think the best way to change something is to introduce very strict and inevitable fines. A fine 500 PLN is nothing for a rich man who was driving 150 K/Ph in city threating someone's life, but if he will lose his Porshe... It would be good punishment. I think the state should take cars of such road hogs. Maybe some will say that it would be unfair and even breaking humans laws, but I think it would be fair, as road hogs are often breaking basic law of many people - law to live.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with Michał that drivers are bigger problem than roads, not only in Poland. Of course, streets definitely have an influence on the number of accidents, but paradoxically when drivers see and know that the roads are in extremely bad condition, they try to drive more carefully. In my opinion, the biggest problem is drink-driving and the fact that even if someone is catched while driving after drinking alcohol, he/she often doesn't suffer the consequences of it! We should try to change Poles' attitude, I know that it's not easy but we should try. And maybe criminal law should be more restrictive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with opinions above, we often complain about roads but in reality drivers create the most of danger situations. They drive too fast or don’t obey other traffic regulation, but for me the worst part is that they create a stressful atmosphere on the road. I remember that my first steps as a driver were a nightmare because of that. It was enough that engine stalled and I stopped for a two seconds or that I didn’t start fast enough at the traffic lights, to cause immense level of irritation. Now I don’t care so much about it, but I still wander why some people just can’t keep their cool while being on the road.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree with all of you. Polish drivers often are too confident. They swear to be masters of driving and they don't think that something wrong could happen.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Before I got my driving licence, I didn’t imagine that driving a car is so stressful and dangerous. I drive less than a year but I had many situations when I had to breach of law to avoid an accident, for example. In most cases, my behavior on the street is a result of bad conditions prevailing there, for instance puncture, feeble lighting, unmarked pedestrian crossings. I think we should remember that when we drive we are responsible not only for us, but also for another people on the street. I hope situation on Polish streets will soon change for better. 

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think that fast cars are created for people and it isn’t true that “fast” always means “dangerous”. I am sure, that if you are responsible you know how to drive fast and safety.
    I think the worse thing is drugs and alcohol! It is necessary to fight with it! I heard about idea, that the police should deprive driving licence people who drive after drinking alcohol and there is impossible to get it back!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I agree with you, and I think that high speed is strongly associated with danger, especially on polish roads. Daring driving and irresponsibility are the serious problems causing a lot of accidents and make our streets out of safety.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think that in our - Polish roads there are a lot of "suprprises". For example of course bad conditions of our roads. A lot of holes, breaching, unevenly placed asphalt. We can see it even in Warsaw, we can imagine what the condition of roads are outside Warsaw on rural roads.
    But in my opinion the greatest threat are another drives, who often are unable to drive! They do very strange things and maneuvers.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yes, drugs and alcohol are the most dangerous for all drivers. In my opinion important thing is atmosphere which is in our family. Children observe their parents and learn the behaviuor. So if we want to stop the accidents, we should thing about good education.

    ReplyDelete
  11. In my opinion our strees are dangerous.On roads driving young people, who are to confindent about their manual abilities... their do not adapt speed to road conditions.they just want to show how funny they are. What is more, there are a lot of accidents due to stupid of young people.I think that in polish law should be more strictly principles for young drivers.

    ReplyDelete
  12. In our society there is some consent for drinking alcohol and driving. People are changing, but when we sum up all cicrumstances which we see in Poland such us condition of our roads, which is disaster, bravado and too much confidence of drivers result is obvious. An I totally disagree with statment that the main number of accidents are caused by young drivers. In last year hospitals and rescue teams made some reaserch and conclusion is one - the most dengerous drivers are women in age 30 to 40 with higher edutaction and well-paid job.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It is obvious that we need to adjust speed to the quality of the roads (which are, and should be made of both: the concrete and the asphalt by the way). I'm sure that cultural driving in spite of huge frustration while stuckig in a traffic jam, is a great think and everyone should try it from time time:) It would really help to rise comfort on Polish roads. But can you imagine all of the drivers respect directly the driving code? It is a utopy...

    ReplyDelete
  14. In my opinion, if someone is a serious threat for other drivers on the road (including speeding and driving after alcohol), his driving license should be taken away for a very long time (even for a lifetime in some cases). Imprisonment, confiscation of a car and extremely high fines would also do the job. Asia made a good point. Education is really important. If parents taught their children to pay attention to safety on the road, there would be less accidents.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The most important thing here is to try to prevent accidents which are caused by drunk drivers, because such accidents are most often the most dangerous ones. We should also increase the quality of polish roads because for now it's terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Recently, I've an car accident- two little boys, 14 at 15 years old, have run against my friend's car with a scooter. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but we've call the police. It appeared that boys didn't have a driver's licency for motorcycle and the scooter wasn't assured. What's more, parents were drunk... It was really horrible to us.
    So I agree that it's very important to show children the importance of reasonable attitude on the streets...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, there are so many drivers who would like to make an impression on friend etc. Results are sometimes horrible and the worst thing for me is that they hurt other people not only themselves. Other people lost their lives or health because of somebody's silliness. In my opinion people should be more careful on the streets and never (!) driving after drinking an alcohol. But sometimes accident is not only fault of driver - in our roads are so many big and dangerous holes that in many place I am afraid to drive - it is only sad true :(

    ReplyDelete
  18. I agree that the main problem is the drivers in. I believe that Poland should apply harsh punishments for speeding. People do not understand the gravity of the situation until it becomes a tragedy.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is nice to see an article dedicated to this important topic. Thank you for sharing.
    Ozone treatment water & air

    ReplyDelete