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Holiday bans – who do they not apply to and when do they start?

>Holiday bans for trucks are a tool to regulate road traffic during the busiest months of the year. Their main goal is to improve traffic flow, reduce infrastructure congestion and improve road safety. Put simply, it is about reducing traffic jams by excluding trucks from traffic at critical moments. What regulations apply in Poland and other European countries? Read on to find out.

At what age can you apply for a commercial driver’s license?

It is possible to take up training for a category C and C+E driving license after reaching the age of 21. However, people who have completed an initial qualification course can start studying as early as 18 years of age. This is important information for those who plan to start their career in transport early. Reducing the minimum age required to start training allows young people to enter the labour market faster and gain valuable experience, which may contribute to faster professional development in the transport industry.

When do the holiday bans in Poland apply?

In Poland, holiday bans for trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) above 12 tons come into force during the most intense travel periods in the summer season. Pursuant to the regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure, they are valid from the Friday immediately following the end of the school year to the last Sunday before the start of the new school year, and more specifically on:

  • Fridays: from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., which aims to reduce truck traffic at the beginning of the weekend
  • Saturdays: from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., which coincides with the main weekend departure hours
  • Sundays: from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., i.e. during the most intense period of returns from weekend trips

What vehicles do the Polish holiday bans not apply to?

  • vehicles carrying perishable items, such as fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish
  • vehicles transporting medicine and medical supplies
  • vehicles transporting fuel
  • vehicles transporting live animals
  • vehicles participating in rescue and humanitarian operations
  • vehicles that repair breakdowns and the effects of natural disasters

Vehicles that entered the territory of Poland outside the ban hours and those returning to their base or to the recipient of the transported cargo within a distance of 50 km from the place of the border crossing are also exempt from the bans.

The full catalogue of vehicles exempt from the traffic restrictions can be found in the regulation of the Minister of Transport of July 31, 2007 (consolidated text: Journal of Laws 2021, item 783).

Consequences of failing to comply with holiday bans

  • fine for the driver ranging from PLN 200 to PLN 500
  • fine for the carrier amounting to PLN 2,000
  • additional fines – the company’s transport manager may be charged with a fine of PLN 1,000 if their vehicles are caught violating the bans.

The abovementioned penalties are not only a form of penalizing violations of the law, they also serve as preventive measures. They are intended to deter transport companies and individual carriers from violating the restrictions introduced during the summer holidays.

Holiday bans for trucks in Europe

Restrictions on truck traffic during peak traffic periods are not only applicable in Poland. Most European countries have their own regulations in this regard, which cover holiday periods. What regulations apply in other countries?

CountryGermanyCzech RepublicFranceItalyCroatiaGreeceSlovakia
Whotrucks with a GVW above 7.5 tonstrucks with a GVW above 7.5 tonstrucks with a GVW above 7.5 tonstrucks with a GVW above 7.5 tons
Where select prohibited roadsall public roadsall public roads
When01.07- 26-31.0801.07-31.0815.07-26.0801.07-27.0815.06-15.0901.07-31.0801.07-31.08
HoursSaturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.Friday from 5 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.Fridays (21.07-11.08): from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Saturdays in July from 08:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m, in August from 08:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Sundays: from 07:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays from 4:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Fridays from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Sundays and bank holidays from 12:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fines€120 for the driver and up to €570 for the carrier2,500 Czech crowns, with the possibility of doubling this amount in case of recidivism€1,500 for entering a prohibited road and a traffic ticket amounting to €750-€3,750.the amount of the fine depends on the region of Italy and the type of violationtraffic ticket up to €300
Table of holiday bans for trucks in Europe

Holiday bans: a summary

Holiday bans for trucks are a proven solution used in many European countries, aimed at relieving road traffic at critical times. They usually fall during the summer holidays and other holidays, mainly on weekends, when tourist traffic is the most intense. In the above article, we presented the most important rules regarding holiday bans. However, if you are planning international transport in the summer, be sure to check the detailed regulations in force in a given country.