By Car

The road quality issue is being addressed with EU directives and funding but the size of the country’s road network as well as its condition means that it’ll be years till improvements will take effect. In fact the issue of the condition of the road and rail networks are being cited by many experts as being a serious handicap to the development of the Polish economy.
For someone taking to the road today the following warnings should be taken into account. Firstly when driving outside of built-up areas you will typically find yourself sharing a single lane road with anything from a sports car convertible to an old bloke in charge of a horse and cart. Throw in the huge fleet of lorries that traverse Poland and you will commonly find yourself in a situation where traffic is blocked behind said lorries/horse/tractor. This results in frustrated/impatient drivers overtaking each other at high speed and then braking sharply to avoid oncoming traffic. Be warned and keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.
Secondly beware of the hard shoulders of these roads, the vast majority of which are unlit at night. These are often used as pavements by local people who add to the Russian roulette by venturing out at night wearing their darkest clothing. Add in the odd drunk on a bike and these hard shoulders become a very real problem when facing a set of headlights bearing down on your vehicle.
For those brave enough to venture out the following information should be noted. Poland has strong drink-driving laws: 0.2‰ is the maximum blood/alcohol limit, so forget about having even a single beer. EU citizens may use their home driving licenses as long as they are valid, however citizens of countries that didn't ratify the Vienna Convention (tsk, tsk Australia and America) will find their licenses invalid (though that hasn't stopped anyone we know from driving their girlfriend's car). Carry your license and passport at all times when driving.
The speed limit is 50km/hr in cities (60km/hr between 23:00 and 05:00), 90km/hr outside urban areas, 120km/hr on dual carriageways and 140km/hr on motorways. All cars are required to carry a red warning triangle, first aid kit, replacement bulbs and a national identity sticker. A new law was introduced in April 2007 making it compulsory to have headlights switched on at all times. Car related crime is high and drivers should make use of guarded car parks where possible.

Arriving by car

Connecting Łódź with the outside world are the E75 running north, the E30 going north east, the west bound A2, the south running E75, and road number 72 heading to the east. Once in Łódź the first thing you’ll notice is the treacherous state of many of the roads, and you’d be advised to make sure the shock absorbers are in full working order. Car crime in Poland is rife, and we fully suggest taking advantage of one of the two guarded car parks in the city. If you’re parking on the street you’ll be paying 1.50zł for the first half hour, then 3zł for the first full hour, increasing from there. A full 24 hours will cost you 25zł.


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