x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Police urge drivers to take care in heavy fog

Heavy fog in the UAE caused some transportation disruptions on Monday.

A woman takes in the view along the corniche on 18th street during heavy fog in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
A woman takes in the view along the corniche on 18th street during heavy fog in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

ABU DHABI // Police urged drivers yesterday to take extra care as seasonal mist and heavy fog make driving conditions hazardous.

Ten people were hurt in road accidents in Abu Dhabi yesterday morning, including an Arab woman who was severely injured. The crashes happened in heavy fog on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai road near Al Smeih bridge.

There were no serious accidents in Dubai.

The fog was heaviest at Hameem in Al Gharbia and the Al Ain-Abu Dhabi road from as early as 2.30am yesterday. "Visibility was 100 metres and less," a spokesman at the National Centre of Meteorology & Seismology said.

Conditions are expected to improve later in the week but there will be fog and mist again today, with visibility dropping to less than one kilometre.

"This is the fog season, we want everyone to be alert when driving," said Col Mohamed Nasser Al Baloushi, head of the highway traffic department at Abu Dhabi Police.

"We are warning drivers in the next few days to expect fog at any time. It is the biggest danger on the roads," he said.

"People see the fog, yet they speed as if driving a plane, as if there are no other cars on the road. What would happen if there was suddenly a car in front of them? Two cars last week were recorded to be driving at 255kph, and another at 240kph. Imagine a car going that fast.

"There are signs everywhere, maybe they are not being read. The police are doing their jobs, they are working day and night - radars are working day and night."

Traffic police increased patrols when the fog came down and equipment is standing ready to move damaged vehicles off the roads quickly, Col Al Baloushi said.

At Abu Dhabi International Airport one Etihad Airways flight to Dammam was cancelled and others were delayed or diverted.

"Fog meant that eight flights were diverted to neighbouring airports; one to Sharjah, one to Doha, three to Dubai and three to Muscat," Etihad said.

By yesterday evening, all the passengers had made it to Abu Dhabi.

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, urged Muslims to perform rain prayers in mosques on Friday.

The prayers will be performed at 8am "in accordance with Prophet Mohammed's tradition to seek showers from Allah in times of need", said Wam, the state news agency.