Poland: Official running roads resigns amid high death rate
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The deputy minister in charge of Poland’s roads resigned Friday, a day after a government report showed the country has one of the highest rates in Europe for fatal vehicle accidents.
Deputy infrastructure minister Jerzy Szmit told Polish news agency PAP that he stepped down for personal reasons and that Prime Minister Beata Szydlo had accepted his resignation.
Szmit oversaw road and air transportation, including construction of much-needed highways. He recently was working on a law to regulate car services such as Uber.
His resignation came on the heels of a report by a state road security authority that said Poland’s road death rate of 7.9 per 100,000 residents is among Europe’s highest, with more than 3,000 people killed last year. The European average is five fatalities per 100,000 residents.
The makeup of Poland’s conservative, euroskeptic government has mostly remained the same since it took power in 2015.
Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said recently that some changes in the government are possible in the fall, but said he is in general pleased with its work.