World Bank supports safe driving in Poland

June 22, 2011

Second annual National Safety Experiment launches in Poland.

WARSAW, June 22, 2011 – With the support of the World Bank, Poland’s General Directorate of National Roads and Motorways is organizing the National Safety Experiment social campaign. The campaign will culminate in the ’Weekend without victims‘, planned on 24-26 June – the first weekend of the summer holidays, when thousands of Poles will hit the road.

The National Safety Experiment is designed at creating a national coalition of all road traffic users – drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians – around the concept of road traffic safety. The crucial element of the campaign, and the guarantee of its success, will be the commitment of the maximum number of people to abide by road traffic safety rules.

“The ’Weekend without victims‘ is a vision that should be pursued by every road user. We do realize that reaching zero accidents in a short time is impossible, but we hope this will happen in the near future,” says Andrzej Maciejewski, deputy of the General Director of National Roads and Motorways. “We are emphasizing the improvement of our roads’ technical condition. We are focusing our initiatives on upgrading the existing infrastructure and on creating new transport routes. We are also aware of the importance of pointing out wrong and promoting good behaviors, especially among drivers. Therefore, the initiative is accompanied by an information and education campaign. We are happy that the largest Polish media and public institutions have joined us.”

“The World Bank is very pleased to be a part of this important campaign,” says Radoslaw Czapski, World Bank Senior Infrastructure Specialist. “Safe driving is a key factor in decreasing the number of road accident victims, which is particularly high in the summer months. We believe social campaigns like this one are necessary to change people’s driving behaviors and increase road safety in Poland.”

Under the National Safety Experiment, educational picnics will be held throughout June in various Polish cities. Among many other things, the organizers prepared accident simulations, presentations of rescue actions, civil defense exercises, and contests for children. Visitors will be able to try out driving simulators, and those who dare can experience a car somersault. The grand finale in the form of a family education picnic is planned on 25 - 26 June in Szczęśliwicki Park in Warsaw.

For a safe holiday’s trip on the ’Weekend without victims’, a special service for drivers will be supported by SMS Info. Since 1 June a special number 71551 (1 zł + VAT) has been launched, which subscribers of all mobile operators can use to receive updates on the road situation in selected regions. They will receive information on permanent traffic impedimentson national roads, and on 24-26 June will also be informed about the weather, congestion, and detours.

The National Safety Experiment ’Weekend without victims‘ is organized by the General Directorate of the National Roads and Motorways and its partners: the Ministry of Health, the National Council of Road Traffic Safety, General Police Headquarters, General Fire Brigade, PKP Polish Railways, General Military Police Headquarters, Chief Inspectorate of Road Transport, and Air Rescue Services. The initiative is supported by Polish national and regional media. The Minister of Infrastructure is the honorary patron. The campaign is financed by the World Bank, under the Third Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project.