Rise in road accidents in Poland caused by drivers from Ukraine and Georgia

Over the past six years, foreign drivers have been responsible for causing over 5,000 road accidents in Poland, leading to 600 fatalities, with speeding being the primary cause, according to police data published by the daily Rzeczpospolita.

Ukrainian and Georgian drivers top the list of offenders. These foreign nationals reportedly show a disregard for fines, often failing to pay them, which may explain their continued risky behavior on the roads.

From 2018 to 2023, there was a significant increase in accidents involving foreign drivers, with notable spikes in 2021 and again in 2022 following the influx of refugees from Ukraine due to the ongoing war. In 2022 alone, the number of accidents jumped from 697 to 1,146, with 115 people losing their lives. The annual increase in accidents following the onset of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was nearly 65 percent.

Ukrainians have been consistently responsible for the majority of these incidents, causing 2,800 accidents, which accounts for 55 percent of all foreign-driver-related accidents during this period. Georgians also rank high, involved in 331 incidents with 34 fatalities.

Other nationalities like Belarusians, Germans, and Lithuanians have been less frequently involved. However, 2023 marked the first appearance of drivers from Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan in these statistics, contributing to a smaller but still notable number of incidents.

Police attribute these trends partly to migration patterns and specific exemptions that have made it easier for foreigners, such as Georgians, to work in Poland, often as drivers in app-based transport services. The main causes of accidents by foreign drivers include excessive speed and failure to adapt to road conditions.

The data also highlights a significant issue with foreign drivers and alcohol-related offenses. In 2023, out of 17,200 crimes committed by foreigners in Poland, approximately one-third (4,900) involved driving under the influence, with Ukrainians and Georgians making up a large proportion of these offenses.

High fines are ineffective on foreigners because they rarely pay them. This is especially true for those who are not caught on the spot.

Since last Monday, all drivers from so-called app-based transport services must possess a Polish driving license. This is aimed at improving safety and comes in response to a wave of crimes, including sexual offenses. However, obtaining the document does not require taking a test on Polish regulations.

Source: Remix News 

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