x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Text messages to warn of bad road conditions

Dubai motorists will be notified via text message if fog or sandstorms are creating dangerous road conditions.

Dubai motorists will be notified next month via text message if fog or sandstorms are creating dangerous road conditions - part of a new project to reduce accidents. The joint effort by Dubai Police, the federal Weather Department and the municipality seeks to avoid repeats of the so-called Fog Tuesday accident in March 2008. Four people were killed and 350 injured in a 200-vehicle pileup near Ghantoot caused by poor visibility.

The municpaility's survey department has been developing a network of stations across Dubai to monitor tides, weather and fog density, Hussein Nasser Lootah, the director general of Dubai Municipality, said yesterday. A model will be used to predict conditions and the information will be sent to the Dubai Police Department's operation room. A warning would then be transmitted to digital signs on highways and sent to motorists' mobile phones.

Mohammed Mahmoud Mashroom, head of the Survey Department, said heavy fog could pose a serious threat to "traffic safety, life and property". A team from the Geodetic and Marine Survey Section visited the company executing the project in the Slovak Republic to examine the system. pmenon@thenational.ae