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Lower house passes law on higher fines for road offences

Poles face paying more for driving offences after the lower house of parliament, the Sejm, passed a bill hiking the penalties that had remained unchanged for years despite rising wages.

In an uncommon show of unity, the Sejm passed the bill on Friday, with 390 MPs in favour, 18 against and 27 abstentions.

The Sejm decided to raise the maximum traffic offence fine to PLN 30,000 (EUR 6,500) from PLN 5,000 (EUR 1,084).

However, the originally-proposed penalty for exceeding the speed limit by more than 30 km/h was watered down by a sub-committee to PLN 800 (EUR 173) from PLN 1,500 (EUR 325).

The new legislation also streamlines rules for the payment of an allowance to the families of people killed in a road-traffic accident by the offending driver, if they acted with intent.

A failure to maintain required vigilance, drunk driving or a failure to yield to a pedestrian will carry a penalty of PLN 3,000 (EUR 650).

Penalty points will no longer be removed from a driver’s licence after one year, but after two years.

The legislation now goes to the upper house, the Senate.

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