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Polish Parliament debates fines for using headphones while driving

Polish Parliament debates fines for using headphones while driving

Image source: © canva
Natalia Witulska,
21.03.2024 13:00

Road safety is a crucial matter that concerns politicians from all sides. Currently, two parliamentary chambers are deliberating whether or not to impose fines on individuals who drive with headphones on. This measure will impact all road users, including cyclists and truck drivers.

An anonymous proposal has been submitted to the Sejm and the Senate to impose fines on people who drive with headphones on. The proposal was submitted by an individual who wishes to remain anonymous. The proposal suggests that people who listen to music while driving should be fined more than two thousand zloty. Both houses of parliament are currently deliberating on whether to put the proposal to public consultation.

According to Rzeczpospolita, the petitioner believes the amount of the fine should be based on the type of vehicle. The lowest fine would apply to bicycles, while the highest would apply to trucks and vehicles carrying more than four people. The petitioner justifies the proposal by stating that they have repeatedly witnessed situations where a driver listening to loud music fails to respond to warning signals from other traffic participants who are not in their field of vision. This lack of reaction can result in accidents.

A fine for using headphones while driving

Representatives from Donald Tusk's government have expressed their doubts regarding the proposal. During a meeting of the Petitions Committee, Miroslaw Maliszewski, a representative of the Third Way (Polish: Trzecia Droga), stated that he did not have an informed opinion about the issue of fines for driving with headphones. He added that more opinions were required before any decision could be made.

According to Maliszewski, the mere fact of using headphones while driving does not imply that a driver is a danger on the road. In an interview with the media, he argued that listening to the radio can also distract the driver and can be equally dangerous. However, they will decide what action to take once they gather enough opinions on the subject.

A complete ban on headphones?

The individual who submitted the petition to the Sejm and the Senate proposes imposing fines exclusively on individuals operating various types of vehicles. However, the issue lies in the fact that headphones can pose a danger not only when worn by drivers. As reported by Rzeczpospolita, a tragic accident occurred in September 2023 on Racławicka Street in Warsaw, resulting in the death of a young woman who was struck by a reversing van. Witnesses recounted attempting to warn her, but she remained unresponsive as she was engrossed in her phone and had headphones on.

Source: Rzeczpospolita

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