Along with nationwide prayers on Sunday the Church has also organised a two-day retreat for drivers where they can reflect upon their attitude when they get behind a wheel.
Aggressive and bad driving make a significant contribution to the high death-rate on Polish roads, one of the worst in the developed world. A survey by the by the OECD-affiliated International Transport Forum for 2009 found there were 12 deaths on Polish roads for every 100,000 inhabitants while the UK clocked up just 3.9 despite having more cars and a greater road network than Poland.
"Many of us behave like pagans when we're driving," said Father Marian Midura, the organiser of the prayer day, which has the support of the national police. "Even though we hang rosaries, carry images of saints and have the early Christian sign of the fish on our cars we do not respect other drivers." Priests will also beseech people to avoid drink driving, another contributing factor to the death rate.
The prayer day comes as the latest contribution by the Catholic Church to road safety in Poland. In the lead up to important Christian holidays the Church makes regular statements on the ethical importance of safe driving, and in the past priests have even accompanied traffic police to add the moral gravitas of the Christian faith to any speeding ticket issued.