Road safety programmes

In 2021 new National Road Safety Programme 2021-2030 was announced  which aims to reduce the number of fatalities and seriously injured by 50% in 2030.


Taking into account the current high level of risk on Polish roads, as well as conditions resulting from the global and European road safety policy, the main objective of the National Road Safety Programme 2021-2030 is to reduce the number of fatalities and seriously injured by 50% within the next decade.


Programme objectives

In 2030 the number of fatalities should not exceed 1455 persons and the number of seriously injured should not be more than 5317 persons on Polish roads. It has to be emphasized that the above estimations are only an intermediate goal established for 2030. The target vision of Polish road safety policy and long-term programs and strategies are to completely eliminate fatalities and serious injuries, which is in line with the far-reaching perspective of European transport policy adopted as part of the Vision Zero implementation by 2050.

Programme structure

Structure of interventions of the National Road Safety Programme 2021-2030 is based on five pillars constituting main areas of activities dedicated to improving road safety until 2030. These are:

Pillar I - Road safety management system

Pillar II - Safe human

Pillar III - Safe roads

Pillar IV - Safe vehicle

Pillar V - Rescue and post-crash care


Priorities and lines of action

For each of the pillars defined in the programme, priorities and lines of action have been identified, taking into account the main road safety problems and the conditions for their solution.

The activities are planned in a way to include all key areas of interventions:

  • engineering - understood as technical solutions, e.g. road network or vehicles that protect drivers, passengers and other road users and reduce the severity of the possible event,
  • enforcement - understood as the control of authorized services, which aims to enforce the existing regulations and prevent their violations,
  • education - understood as a comprehensive process of awareness raising of road traffic hazards through acknowledging and understanding the risks. The aim of educational activities is to change attitudes and behaviours at the level of an individual road user, groups and organisations.


More information (available only in Polish) can be found here:

Narodowy Program Bezpieczeństwa Ruchu Drogowego 2021-2030

In 2013 new National Road Safety Programme 2013-2020 was developed, which aims to reduce the number of fatalities in 2020 by 50% and seriously injured by 40%, in relation to 2010.

Programme objectives
The new Road Safety Programme 2013-2020, apart from objectives regarding only fatalities decrease – as it was the case in previous programmes – also emphasizes the problem of seriously injured. Two main objectives to be reached until 2020 are established to implement the long-term vision:
• to limit the annual number of fatalities by at least 50% until 2020, which means a maximum of 2 000 of fatalities in 2020, in relation to 2010,
• to limit the annual number of seriously injured by at least 40% until 2020, which means no more than 6 900 of seriously injured in 2020, in relation to 2010.
There are also two stage objectives:
• in 2014 – maximum number of fatalities: 3 000, seriously injured: 9 400,
• in 2017 – maximum number of fatalities: 2 400, seriously injured: 8 000.
Programme structure
With regard to the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, as well as to Transport Development Strategy until 2020 established by UN, National Road Safety Programme 2013-2020 and its structure of intervention is based on the following five pillars:
1. Safe behaviours of road traffic users.
2. Safe road infrastructure.
3. Safe speed.
4. Safe vehicles.
5. Rescue and medical assistance system.
Effective implementation of activities within the above mentioned pillars is conditioned by the improvement of the management system for road safety. Therefore, the Programme indicates also the activities which are essential for planning, implementation, coordination and monitoring activities within its particular pillars. In every pillar, based on the diagnosis of the existing status of road safety, priority directions (priorities) reflecting fundamental problems of road safety in Poland are distinguished, as well as conditions for their implementation. However, every priority accumulates activities covering: 
• Engineering – understood as technical solutions for road network, which upgrade road safety and make roads “forgive” human errors, and vehicles, which protect drivers, passengers and other road users, as well as diminish possible damages of an accident.
• Enforcement – understood as visible supervision and control aiming at the enforcement of existing regulations and prevention of non-compliance.
• Education – understood as enhancing awareness of road safety by identification and understanding the risk. The objective of education is to change attitudes and behaviours at the individual level, as well as at the level of certain communities or at the organizational level.
For each pillar priorities and directions of actions have been identified.
1. Safe road user.
 - Priority 1 – Influencing safe behaviours of road users.
 - Priority 2 – Protection of road users.
2. Safe roads.
 - Priority 1 – Implementation of road safety standards eliminating the most serious risks in road traffic.
 - Priority 2 – Development of road infrastructure safety management system.
3. Safe speed.
 - Priority 1 – Influencing driver behaviours in relation to driving at a safe speed.
 - Priority 2 – Increase the efficiency of speed management system.
4. Safe vehicle.
 - Priority 1 – Enhancement of activities regarding vehicle technical condition inspections.
 - Priority 2 – Improvement of vehicle safety systems.
5. Rescue service and post-accident assistance
 - Priority 1 – Integration and development of National Rescue System.
 - Priority 2 – Reorganization of the assistance system to the victims of road accidents.
Road safety management system
The process of improving road safety requires compliance with the following three interconnected elements: the functions of institutional management, specific actions (interventions) and results. The fundamental functions of institutional management include:
• coordination,
• legislation,
• financing and provision of resources, 
• promotion and communication,
• monitoring and evaluation,
• research, development and knowledge transfer.
Each of these functions requires improvement in view of the performance of actions defined for each pillar of Road Safety Programme. These functions are fulfilled in various proportions, depending on the institution and the level of public administration. The Programme describes the activities in the following areas:
• The improvement of road safety organizational structures and coordination.
• The introduction of coherent system of legal regulations on road safety.
• The introduction of stable road safety financing system.
• The introduction of uniform monitoring and communication system.
• The implementation of road safety research system and transfer of knowledge.
• Systemic actions.
Guidelines on Programme implementation
The Programme will function with links to other related areas such as transport, infrastructure, public finances, health, education, rescue system, power sector, environmental protection, scientific research, jurisdiction, trade exchange and spatial planning. The coordination between public administration, local government, business, nongovernmental organizations and local communities is of great importance.
The basic tools for implementing the Programme will be, similarly to the solutions described in GAMBIT 2005, performance programmes at sectoral, voivodeship and poviat levels. All programmes should be developed with consideration of National Programme objectives implementation.
Performance programmes
• programmes prepared for the period of 1-2 years, which will include:
 - detailed action plan for the upcoming year in case of one-year programmes,
 - detailed action plan for the first year and the outline of actions for the second year in case of two-year programmes.
Sector programmes
• internal programmes of individual departments and institutions of government administration (Directorate General of National Roads and Motorways, Polish Police Headquarters, National Headquarters of the State Fire Service of Poland, General Inspectorate of Road Transport, etc.).
Voivodeship programmes
• the basis for creating voivodeship programmes, apart from the National Programme, should be voivodeship-level documents such as development strategy and spatial development plan.
Local programmes
• programmes implemented by local governments, should indicate the concrete solutions in infrastructure, enforcement, education and rescue services.
Monitoring and assessment
Crucial issue is efficient, ongoing and complex monitoring and assessment of whether the undertaken actions are headed in the specified direction.
The Programme monitoring tools will be:
• Annual reports on road safety in Poland, which will contain mainly:
 - facts concerning accidents from the previous year, 
 - specific indicators of the actions implementation included in the performance programmes for the previous year.
• Periodic reports on the Programme implementation containing the assessment of used solutions, correlated with the stage objectives:
 - first periodic report in 2015 should cover the period of 2012-2014,
 - second periodic report in 2018 should cover the period of 2012-2017.
Road safety indicators
The main indicator of Programme implementation, will be the decrease in number of fatalities and seriously injured. These indicators will be used for the ongoing assessment of reaching the main objectives in 2020, also in relation to stage objectives for 2014 and 2017. The general assessment of Programme progress will be also facilitated by other indicators.

In 1972 the Council of Ministers approved a resolution regarding actions and measures aimed at the improvement of road safety situation in Poland. However, this programme did not prove to be successful and did not bring any positive changes in the situation.
In 1992 World Bank developed a report, called Gerondeau report, on road safety situation in Poland. The report explained that the responsibility for road safety in Poland is dispersed and mainly lies in hands of Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport and Maritime Economy. It was also stated that there is no adequate administrative and social structure which could lead the consistent, long-term policy, be in funds and responsible for their disbursement. As a result, in 1993, on a central level National Road Safety Council was established (including the representatives of ministries and central offices, social organizations and invited experts).
In 1994-96, on a special commission by Minister of Transport and Maritime Economy, from the Scientific Research Committee funds, Programme GAMBIT 96 was developed. It was a base for formulating in 1994 the guidelines for the road safety improvement programme.
In 2000 another programme was developed – GAMBIT 2000. It was approved by the Council of Ministers in 2001 as a road safety improvement programme for Poland for 2001-2010. The strategic goal of the programme was to reduce the number of killed to 4 000 in 2010. 
The goals of GAMBIT 2000 were as follows:
• short-term: the reduction in number of killed to 5 500 in 2003 (13% drop in relation to 2000),
• long-term: the reduction in number of killed to 4 000 in 2010 (36% drop in relation to 2000).
GAMBIT 2000 included 3 specific aims:
1. Implementing road safety measures in the seven predefined problematic areas.
2. Developing the foundation to pursue effective and long-term road safety policy.
3. Gaining social support for road safety improvement.
The accession of Poland to the EU in 2004 required the introduction of new obligations in transport policy, common for all member states. Therefore a need to formulate new improvement programme had to be fulfilled. National Road Safety Improvement Programme 2005-2007-2013, called GAMBIT 2005, was accepted by National Road Safety Council in March 2005 and approved by the Council of Ministers in April 2005.
The strategic goal of GAMBIT 2005 was to reduce the number of killed by 50% until 2013 in relation to 2003, which meant no more than 2 800 killed. There were also 2 mid-term goals to be reached:
• in 2007 – no more than 4 300 killed,
• in 2010 – no more than 3 500 killed.
In order to reach the main objective, five specific aims were established (which embraced 15 groups of priority actions and 144 tasks):
1. Development of basis to conduct effective and log-term road safety improvement activities.
2. Influencing safe behaviours of road users.
3. Protection of pedestrians, children and cyclists.
4. Ensuring safe infrastructure (roads and surroundings).
5. Reduction in severity of road accidents and their consequences.
The new National Road Safety Programme 2013-2020 continues the far-reaching ZERO VISION, adopted in previous national road safety programmes, which strives to decrease the number of killed in road traffic to zero.