In the previous section of my considerations (which can be called socio-legal), I argued that the legal culture of individual societies should be judged on the basis of the extent to which the law is respected for fear of punishment and responsibility, and to what extent – from the conviction that this law serves benefit all of us. Yes, the way Poles use the left turn signal is perhaps the most frustrating and annoying but, of course, I don’t really mean the left turn signal. Not even the right turn signal. Or how to use a turn signal when changing lanes on the road. Nor also about the way Poles parked in two places. That’s not what I mean at all.
Half of the drivers in Poland turn on the indicator without any intention of any communication to road users of any change of direction. The turn signal light comes on after the maneuver is completed. (This is best seen when the brake light comes on first and then the turn signal comes on, because that simply means that the maneuver is already performed a long time before it is signaled.) The same happens on the road when changing lanes. The indicator in this case rather shows: “I just turned left”, or “I just changed lane” which of course has no meaning for another driver. This is obviously against the law (Article 22 (6) of the Road Traffic Law), although the provision mentions clear signaling also without explicitly indicating the obligation to turn on the indicator. Short, one-second situations on the road are a spectacular expression of legal customs and legal beliefs of the society. If the recipes are used only for the sake of peace, or with the explanation “that I turned it on” – it means that they are not needed at all. They don’t serve their destiny.
Because this is a case of using rules without taking into account their real purpose. While it is possible to live with the pointless turning on of a turn signal – if someone is not too nervous about it – the formalistic and semantic application of the law causes devastating, irreparable damage to all of us. I will reflect on this in the next ANP issues.