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Travel Tips from AA Travel Insurance

Euro 2012 Travel Planner

On the Road in Poland & Ukraine Euro 2012

The following are a standard set of rules that should be strictly adhered to in order to enjoy a safe and comfortable journey to this summer’s European Championships and to remain safe while there.

  • Drive defensively and pardon the cliché, expect the unexpected, as the local driving style may be drastically different to what we are used to at home in Ireland.
  • Do not drive when you are tired and take regular breaks on long journeys. We will address details of good locations to stop, rest and refuel on this site.
  • It goes without saying, always wear a seatbelt and ensure other passengers do.
  • Do not drink and drive under any circumstances. In certain European countries the legal limit may be lower than in Ireland and in many cases, there is a zero-tolerance policy towards drink driving.
  • Also ensure that you do not get behind the wheel the day after drinking until you are certain it is safe to do so.

Driving in Poland

Driving in Poland can be extremely dangerous. In 2010, there were 3,907 road deaths in Poland compared with 212 in Ireland. 

Speed Limits – Built up Areas are 60kmph, major roads are 110kmph and motorways are 130kmph.

Drink Driving - The maximum level of alcohol permitted in the bloodstream is 0.02%. Motorists detected with a blood alcohol level between 0.021% and 0.05% per cent will be subject to a hefty fine and their driver’s license may be suspended. With blood alcohol levels of over 0.05% the fine is determined by a tribunal.

Fuel - Unleaded petrol (95 & 98 octane), diesel and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) are available. No leaded petrol (95 octane petrol with lead replacement additive available). Up to 10 litres of petrol in a can is permitted but forbidden aboard ferries. Credit cards are accepted at most filling stations; check with your card issuer for usage in Poland before you travel.
Other Points to Note:

Poland is a major east-west transit route for heavy vehicles.

There are few dual-carriageways, and main roads between major towns and cities can be narrow and often poorly surfaced.

Streetlights, even in major cities are weak and as a consequence, motorists are urged to drive with their headlights on at all times, day and night.

According to official reports, local driving standards are poor. Drivers rarely signal before manoeuvring and speed limits, traffic lights and road signs are not well displayed and when displayed are often not adhered to.

As is often the case with Ireland, slow moving agricultural vehicles and horse drawn vehicles are common in rural areas and even on main roads.

Driving in Ukraine

A recent study indicates that road traffic injuries already rank among the top 10 causes of death in Ukraine.

Recent official statistics indicate that more than 22,000 people died and about 90,000 people required medical treatment as a result of road traffic injuries during the 2007-2009 period.

Drink Driving – There is a zero-tolerance policy regarding drink driving. The limit is 0.00% however this has been slightly increased to 0.02% but only to accommodate some prescription medication which may contain alcohol. Motorists can expect severe fines and possible confiscation of license, if not adhered to.

Speed Limits - Built up areas are 60kmph, major roads are 110kmph and motorways are 130kmph.

Fuel - Unleaded petrol (95 & 98 octane), diesel (Solyarka) and LPG is available. Petrol in a can is permitted. It is recommended to carry petrol in spare cans when undertaking long journeys. Credit cards are accepted at filling stations. Check with your card issuer for usage in Ukraine, before travel. Fuel is usually paid for in local currency.

Other Points to Note:

Until recently when taking a vehicle into the Ukraine, an ecological tax had to be paid at the border; the amount varied according to engine power. This is no longer the case.

Similar to the tournament’s other host nation Poland, roads are again of variable quality. Driving standards can be very poor and there may also be hazardous road surfaces, street lighting and vehicle. The advice is to avoid nighttime travel, if at all possible.

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