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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Police urge motorists to pull over in heavy fog as forecasters say more is to come

'Motorists should not drive in severe foggy conditions and wait until visibility improves,' said a representative of Dubai police

The aftermath of a collision between 44 vehicles on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Street due to fog and low vision. Abu Dhabi Police
The aftermath of a collision between 44 vehicles on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Street due to fog and low vision. Abu Dhabi Police

Motorists have been urged either to stay at home or pull over during foggy weather conditions. The warning follows a road accident on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi road on Tuesday involving 44 cars, which injured 22 people.

Police have asked motorists to think seriously before travelling in extreme weather conditions, with the fog expected to continue until Friday, forecasters from The National Centre of Meteorology have said.

The centre said humidity could rise to upto 95 per cent overnight and in the early morning hours of Thursday that could lead to further mist.

“Motorists should not drive in severe foggy conditions and wait until visibility improves,” said Brig Omar Al Shamsi, deputy director of the general department of operations at Dubai police.

“Stopping in a petrol station or anywhere that is considered safe is recommended. Heavy vehicle drivers should stop in their rest stops,” he said.

Brig Al Shamsi spoke about monitoring working hours for heavy vehicles drivers as they should "rest before hitting the roads and they need to stop in their rest areas rather than driving in low visibility situations.”

He said that being late for work is better than getting involved in a major accident.

Brigadier Saif Muhair Al Mazroui, director of Dubai traffic police, said that there are procedures and tips that must be abided by motorists during the foggy weather. He said: “Drivers must reduce speed and maintain a sufficient distance between their vehicles.

"They need to avoid overstepping other vehicles and changing lanes, except when necessary. During the foggy weather, motorists need to park their cars safely outside the hard shoulder, using lights to alert other vehicles coming from behind,” said Brig Al Mazroui.

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Read more:

It's careless driving, not fog, that causes accidents

How to drive safely in the UAE fog

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“Other procedures include that drivers should not use high-beam lights that hinder the visibility of other motorists and not to use hazard lights while driving. Motorists need to keep themselves updated with the weather forecast,” said Brig Al Mazroui.

Ian Cox, who is an advanced driving instructor for Audi Driving Experience and a senior drive trainer for Dubai-based automotive company Drive Dynamics, said: “With hazard lights on, anybody behind has no clue what you’re doing – they don’t know if you’re turning left, turning right or slowing down.

Driving with hazard lights on in foggy weather is now punishable by a fine of Dh500 and four black points.

Thomas Edelmann, founder of Road Safety UAE, said driving in foggy weather is dangerous and drivers need to slow down, increase safe distance, and to stay away from any distractions.

“If motorists feel unsafe to carry on due to very low visibility, they must park in a safe place, preferably beyond the hard shoulder, such as a petrol station or a parking lot.”