Polish government seeks effective ways to prevent drunken driving
January 3, 2014
Polish PM Donald Tusk and Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, source KPRM
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk Thursday held a meeting with the justice and interior ministers to discuss road safety and ways to prevent drunken driving following a tragic car accident that killed six on Wednesday.
An allegedly drunken 26-year-old driver sped his car onto the sidewalk into a group of passers in Kamien Pomorski, northern Poland, killing six people including a policeman, his wife and their son. Two other victims were in hospital. Police said an alcohol test after the accident showed the driver had nearly two promille alcohol content. The perpetrator was already deprived of his driver's license for one year for drunken driving in 2006.
During a conference at PM’s office Tusk discussed proposals of curbing the phenomenon of drunken drivers with Ministers of Justice Marek Biernacki and Interior Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz.
Sienkiewicz said earlier that the problem stems partially from a general tolerance of drunken driving by Poles.
"The crux of the matter is (...) public acceptance of such conduct," he told TOK FM radio. He also criticized law courts for leniency in passing sentences on convicted drunk drivers.
A package of government proposals to that effect will be presented at the next cabinet sitting on January 7.
Most political parties demanded stiffer penalties for drunken drivers on Thursday.
The ruling Civic Platform (PO) is less eager to increase penalties. Deputy head of PO caucus Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska said that stiffer penalties for drunken driving by themselves would not help improve safety in Polish roads. The most important was certainty of punishment and zero tolerance from the public, she said.