By Andy Sambidge
Authorities set up fog alert system aimed at avoiding repeat of 2008 horror crash
Authorities in Dubai have launched a new initiative to try to avoid road crashes caused by fog which has claimed numerous lives over the past few years.
Dubai Municipality said they were collaborating with Dubai Police to monitor and control difficult weather conditions in the emirate.
A fog and meteorological station has been launched in Al Warqa'a, which is connected with the network of 13 other substations in different locations across Dubai aiming at improving the safety on road and at sea.
Hussain Nasser Lootah, director general of Dubai Municipality, said in a statement that the initiative aimed to avoid accidents like the 2008 crash in Ghantoot, in which four died and hundreds injured because of low visibility on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway.
A similar pile-up in Jebel Ali killed a bus driver and injured 40 people two years later and in April last year one person died and more than 60 people were injured in a huge car pile-up in dense fog on the Dubai-Abu Dhabi highway.
Information collected through the monitoring system will be sent to Dubai Police and Coastal Guards to take appropriate action in case of low visibility and heavy fog enabling them to warn drivers.
Mohammad Mashroom, director of Survey Department, added: "The system used in these stations will provide information on density of fog, low visibility, degree of humidity, rainfall, water level, wind speed and temperature of weather and sand in Dubai.
"Low visibility due to fog has been one of the main reasons of several road accidents across the emirate. These stations located adjacent to the main roads in the emirate will provide information on fog conditions in the city especially in the main roads and highways," he added.
Eight automated fog-detection machines are located on land, mostly near main highways. Five others near coasts and one have been set up in the sea, about 20km off the Jumeirah coast.
Personally I can usually tell when it's foggy, as I can see a load of white foggy stuff in front of the car, instead of a clear road and other vehicles.
Even if you warn these people about fog, they still drive at 160 kmph , 6 inches from your bumper, with no lights and not using their windscreen wipers. It's probably seen as another show of masculinity to continue to drive like a lunatic in the fog.