Fifteen years ago, it was almost a complete analogue of our traffic police, but now everything is different. About how the Polish traffic police has changed and what is now doing, we decided to find out by going on a trip to this country.
First impressions: excellent roads (in quality, the presence of markings, signs, etc.), but mostly narrow. Everyone drives fast, sometimes violating the speed limit, but politely. In four days, we met traffic police only twice. The picket was clearly visible from afar, but the oncoming drivers also warned that it was there - they blinked like ours. Later, communicating with Polish motorists, it became clear: of course, all of a sudden and immediately they did not begin to love their police, but they began to relate to the servants of the law much better. Apparently, there is something …
MONEY DOES NOT DECIDE EVERYTHING
“The main thing that we have managed to do over the years is to change the attitude of society towards our police,” said Alicia Hytrek, adviser to the chief commandant of the Polish police. - It used to be a road policeman, like you, was a hero of jokes in which he only knew how to extort money. Now, according to all polls, 66% of Poles positively evaluate the work of the police. Recently, we announced an additional set, and two thousand applications have already arrived in a month! Now we can select the best.
Salary and a good pension are, of course, an incentive, but still not the main one. Service in the Polish police has become prestigious and respected. People see that she is now different, they see real results: crimes are revealed not only in the movies, but also in life. Its equipment has also changed - Polish police now have the most modern computer systems, communication systems, laboratories, cars, etc. High salaries also play a role. In addition, work in the state structure is considered more stable than in a private company. Moreover, the opportunity to retire after 15 years of service is attractive. Its size depends on many factors, but in any case it makes it possible to live in “capitalist” Poland with dignity.
About 100 thousand people now serve in the Polish police, but the largest department is preventive. Traffic police (about 6 thousand people) are included in its structure. Moreover, the most trained specialists serve in it, because by the nature of the work they should not only be able to drive a car, but do it masterly; not just knowing the computer perfectly, but working with special photo and video equipment, radars, alcohol and drug testers, and knowing numerous legislative acts and documents. How to transport certain goods, how to provide medical care, etc. But, of course, the main task of the police is to control the traffic.
Around the world, traffic police are elite. They are the face of the whole police force: they are always in sight, they judge the whole service by their work. As we were told, in Poland very much attention is paid to the selection of personnel. Traffic police training at the academy lasts two years. To work, the "district" must study for a year, in the criminal police - one and a half. This is despite the fact that among the candidates for positions in the traffic police, the majority of people with higher education, most know two or more languages. Today it is an indispensable condition for work. By the way, it is interesting that among the two thousand statements mentioned, 40% belong to women. The policeman is now one of the most popular works for them in Poland; 11% of employees are women. That says a lot.
The police reform in Poland, which began in 1990, went smoothly enough thanks to the careful attention to the "old cadres".
- In our police, dismissal is possible only for two reasons: if the employee drove the car while intoxicated or a state body (not a private person!) Opened a criminal case against him. If the state does not trust, then it cannot serve it,”Alicia Hytrek explains. - But there haven’t been too many of them in 15 years. The reduction in police numbers came at the expense of those who retired. The reform was linked to pension legislation. It provided for retirement after 15 years of service.
Ambush … IN VIEW OF EVERYONE
The Polish Traffic Police has only one task - the organization of traffic. Other, auxiliary, also aimed at fulfilling the main - for example, in cooperation with local authorities to monitor the condition of roads, markings and signs. Driving permits are issued by special transport departments at local authorities. By the way, cars are also registered there. But the police have nothing to do with the work of these institutions.
If we talk about the service, the Polish policeman has no right to sit in ambush on the road, controlling the speed of the radar!
- This has already happened in our police, many people remember this, but it was banned a long time ago! - said Mrs. Alicia. - By law, a traffic police patrol car must be marked with a special paint and visible from afar. After all, the police are called “preventive”, and the fact that a police car is standing on the track encourages drivers to slow down. The main goal is not to punish for a violation, but to warn him. There are other ways to punish.
For a year and a half, we have been actively purchasing photo and video recorders. We install them both in cities and on highways. Each such device takes photos where both the vehicle number and its speed are visible. The police sends invaders to appear - does not call, namely, invites! They demonstrate the pictures and offer to pay the fine established by law. If the driver agrees, he pays; if not, he is summoned to court. Typically, most pay immediately. The number of these photo radars is increasing from month to month - this, among other things, is beneficial - the device pays off pretty quickly. And the number of violators is reduced.
By the way, the Polish policeman is “distanced” from working with money. On the highway, he has no right to take a fine, even a miserable one, from a Polish citizen - he only gives him a receipt.
“It should be taken into account that in recent years, Poles traveled a lot to other European countries and learned to drive carefully and politely,” Mrs. Hytrek is sure. - Now we are trying to teach them to ride according to the rules, at the right speed.
The smallest fine, in accordance with the Polish code, is 20 zlotys (1 dollar = 3.2 zlotys). It will have to be paid for such exotic offenses as “driving animals in a state that does not allow them to be controlled” or “riding on carts with skids without calls and rattles”. The biggest fine is 500 zlotys. It was envisaged for a malicious violation of the speed limit (by more than 50 km / h) or as punishment for those drivers who go around a car that stopped in front of a zebra to let pedestrians pass. The Code provides penalties for both drivers and pedestrians, cyclists and even shepherds (see above). Here are some of them.
For pedestrians: access to the carriageway directly in front of a moving vehicle (including the "zebra") - 100 zł; crossing the roadway in the wrong place - 20 zł.