We need systemic changes for the improvement of road safety

PTIA was a partner of the XVI Road Safety International Conference

Polish Tyre Industry Association brings attention to the need of systemic solutions, that would improve safety on Polish roads. Among them PTIA points to the need of improvement of vehicle inspection and its supervision, inspection of the condition of tyres’ in case of occurrence of road accidents, as well as introducing the requirement of using winter or all-season tyres during the autumn-winter period.

During the XVI Road Safety International Conference – which took place on March 4th 2019 on the PGE National Stadium – attention was directed towards, among others, the need for education of Poles and the great importance of tyres for the safety of all road users.

The issue of low-quality services provided by workshops and insufficient control in diagnostic stations is becoming more and more evident in Poland. There is a lack of systemic solutions which would help with the problem of bad technical condition of our vehicles – Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association pointed out. – The drivers must be aware that the behaviour, adhesion and the length of braking distance of each vehicle depends on the quality and condition of tyres. They are the only point of contact with the road. Tyres’ condition has a direct impact on the level of our safety.

Poor state of vehicle’s tyres is the cause of many dangerous situations on the road. In Germany, up to 30% of accidents caused by poor technical state of the vehicle is connected with tyres.

– The average vehicle in Poland is about 13 years-old, and their technical condition is far from ideal. The results of technical research conducted on almost 9 million vehicles from June 2018 to July 2019 in German vehicle inspection stations indicates that every fifth vehicle didn’t pass the performance tests on its first try, and the rate of vehicles with serious technical defects reached 21,2%. In Great Britain, 1/3 of all vehicles does not manage to pass the inspection on the first try. In Scandinavia around 25% of vehicles cannot pass the inspection the first time around and in Latvia the number goes up to 50%. In Poland only 3% of all vehicles does not pass technical inspections. That does not mean, however, that 97% of Polish vehicles is in mint technical condition – these statistics show that there are abnormalities in the inspections in vehicle inspection stations – said Marek Nytko, the expert of TÜV Rheinland.

There are around 13,000 automotive workshops in Poland, which offer general tyre services – the quality of the consumer service, available equipment and employee training varies heavily. There are some excellent workshops as well as those, which should not be serving any customers. There is no way for drivers to tell them apart, as they do not know where, besides authorized chain workshops, it is safe to change their tyres. As the tyre industry, we said „enough!”. We decided to help those automotive repair shops, which work with tyres in making their service better. At the same time, we strive to make drivers aware and demonstrate why it is important to use only certified workshops. When changing tyres – a random service man can easily damage the tyre. The driver has no way of noticing that – which leads to a tragedy on the road, because the tyre burst while the car was moving at high speed. This is why, together with TÜV Rheinland we are launching the tyre certificate project available to all automotive workshops. We created over 140 criteria, which determine the quality of a workshop and its grade on the certificate. The project’s aim is to show the drivers who they can entrust their car with and spread awareness regarding road safety – added Piotr Sarnecki.

The panellists also discussed the mentality of Polish drivers. Konrad Romik, Secretary of National Road Safety Council pointed to the need of a large change in drivers’ habits, among others, regarding driving on fast lanes and motorways. The National Road Safety Council has been undertaking pro-social actions in this regard for 3 years. What is more, according to Konrad Romik, among challenges we have to face in the future are improving investigation of the causes of traffic accidents, and developing a system for gathering and processing safety data.

Experts also touched on the subject of the lack of legal requirement of using seasonal tyres in Poland, which is the only country in the European Union, with such a climate, which legislation does not predict a compulsory change of tyres to a winter tyre set in autumn/winter conditions.

– In 27 European countries, in which the requirement of driving on winter or all-season tyres was implemented, a 46% decrease in the number of traffic accidents in winter conditions was noted, when compared to driving in the same conditions using summer tyres. That is a lot – it shows an undisputed improvement in safety – stated Piotr Sarnecki.

It is important to remember, that in case of an accident on tyres, which were not appropriate to the current season, the insurer can refuse to pay the compensation –blaming the driver for gross negligence and maladjustment of tyres to conditions on the road, thereby causing a collision or accident.

On the „road safety” panel of the XVI Road Safety International Conference 7 experts discussed the technical state of vehicles on Polish roads, infrastructure as an important element for road safety, and tyres and drivers’ awareness regarding their influence on road safety.

Among those who shared their knowledge during the "road safety" panel were: Konrad Romik, Secretary of the National Road Safety Council, Włodzimierz Zientarski, journalist and president of the Association, Piotr Sarnecki, general director of the Polish Tyre Industry Association, Ph. D. Ing. Remigiusz Kozłowski, Center for Security Technology in Logistics at the University of Lodz, insp. Michał Niedźwiedzki, Head of the Inspection Department at the Provincial Road Transport Inspectorate in Łódź, Marek Nytko, TÜV Rheinland expert and Michał Wekiera, executive director of the Polish Automotive Industry Association.

Conference organizers: and





Source: Polish Tyre Industry Association