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What does an inspection carried out by the Road Transport Inspection look like and how do you prepare for it?

The Road Transport Inspection (ITD) is a specialized body exercising control over compliance with road and passenger transport regulations. The ITD was established in 2001 in order to harmonize Polish regulations with EU standards in the accession process. Since then, the Road Transport Inspection has gained a number of new powers and responsibilities. How does the ITD carry out inspections and do drivers have reasons to be concerned?

What does the Road Transport Inspection do?

The ITD’s aim is to reduce unfavourable events in road transport. However, this does not mean that the inspector’s attention is focused solely on commercial vehicles and trucks. Drivers of passenger cars who commit gross violations of traffic rules must also wary of this. Initially, the ITD’s objectives were:

  • preventing road deterioration
  • eliminating harmful incidents in road transport  
  • improving road safety

The Road Transport Inspection falls under the General Inspectorate of Road Transport and attains its goals by performing inspection activities and conducting administrative proceedings.

What powers does the ITD have?

Pursuant to the current regulations, the ITD inspectors have the right to carry out an inspection of each driver and issue them a fine. The scope of powers is very wide and includes carrying out a discovery process, filing a motion for punishment with the court, or even confiscating the registration certificate and driving license. If necessary, the inspector may also perform tasks related to road traffic control.

The Road Transport Inspection also verifies driver working time, possession of appropriate licenses and certificates, as well as potential environmental hazards resulting from driving a vehicle. The latter issue is addressed through inspections of the technical condition of the vehicle and testing samples of the fuel it is powered by. In addition to road inspection activities, ITD officers also have the right to conduct thorough inspections in companies, mainly transport ones.

What documents are needed during an ITD inspection?

In the case of a passenger car inspection, only an identity card or passport is needed to confirm the identity of the inspected person. A driver’s license and vehicle registration certificate may be useful in some situations, but there are no penalties for not holding them.

ITD inspection – required documents for road transport

  • Driver card
  • Record sheets
  • Manual records and printouts from the tachograph
  • Certificate referred to in Art. 31 of the Act of 16 April 2004 on driver working time
  • Excerpt from the road carrier permit or excerpt from the licence

In the case of international road transport, the following may also be necessary: ​​appropriate permits, driving form, copy of the contract for the performed transport.

Who may undergo an ITD inspection?

The Road Transport Inspection may perform a vehicle inspection of a driver:

  • who carries out road transport within the meaning of the Act of 6 September 2001 on road transport
  • to determine the alcohol content in the body or the presence of an agent acting similarly to alcohol
  • who violated a traffic regulation, if this violation was registered using control and measuring devices
  • who grossly violated road traffic regulations or threatened road safety
  • who performs road transport within the meaning of the Act of 19 August 2011 on the transport of dangerous goods
  • who transports waste within the meaning of the Act of 14 December 2012 on waste.

Strictly speaking, the ITD can stop the driver of any vehicle in order to verify their sobriety, or if they have committed a gross violation of the regulations. In other cases, ITD officers focus on drivers performing road transport.

How to prepare for an ITD inspection at a company

The Road Transport Inspection officers also have administrative authority over and oversight of transport companies. Prior to the inspection, the business owner must be informed at least 7 days in advance in the form of a notification. The notification must contain a list of documents that need to be prepared and an indication of the period of the company’s activity that is subject to control. This is usually a period of up to 12 months.

Proper preparation for an ITD inspection in a company consists of providing access to all documents indicated in the notification. Most often, tachograph records are verified in order to check compliance with the provisions of the Act on driver working time. In some cases, inspectors also check measures put in place for effective supervision, for which the transport manager is responsible. The most important thing is to remain calm and allow the inspectors to carry out all the requisite activities.