It’s drivers, not the fog, that caused 57-vehicle crash
Letters to the editor - The National online dated 18 January 2014
in print 19 January 2014
Your news article, 57-vehicle pile-up brings traffic to a standstill on Al Ain-Abu Dhabi highway (January 16), reflects a black day in the history of road safety in the UAE, even though on this occasion it seems there were no fatalities.
The issue is, once again, drivers’ behaviour during adverse weather conditions. Some of our roads, and especially the Dubai-Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi-Al Ain roads, have strange weather pockets where one experiences dense fog with visibility below 50 meters.
Some drivers ignore the danger and continue to drive fast without any caution for themselves or others. When they encounter drivers ahead who have reduced their speed, the result is a multiple collision of the kind in your article.
The UAE is lucky to have both modern weather forecasting equipment and a comprehensive road-control system. The police should join forces with meteorological experts and issue alerts about dangerous weather conditions such as fog or sandstorms more promptly than they do now. This should be backed by deploying patrol cars on these roads during these foggy mornings so that they create a sense of caution among those who speed.
The speed limit ought to be temporarily lowered by 40 per cent during times of poor visibility, with speed cameras adjusted to suit. In times of fog and sandstorms, the fines for speeding ought to be doubled and those repeat offenders ought to have their licences suspended or cars impounded.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
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