Fog monitors to caution drivers on low visibility

Fourteen climate monitoring stations with early fog detectors will go into action in two weeks, officials say.

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DUBAI // Fourteen climate monitoring stations with early fog detectors will go into action in two weeks, officials said yesterday, as the country prepares to tackle low visibility on the roads in the coming months. "We want all of them ready before December," said Yousuf Abdulrahman al Marzooqi, the head of the geodetic and hydrographic survey section at Dubai Municipality. Dubai and the Northern Emirates have been experiencing foggy conditions over the past few days resulting in several road accidents. The conditions are expected to recur in the coming days as the winter sets in.

The unmanned, automated stations will be equipped with radar and cameras to record images of fog and sandstorms. "We will use mobile network towers to communicate fog alerts to motorists heading towards a fog-hit area," Mr al Marzooqi said. "They will get the message before they reach the fog area." The Roads and Transport Authority will be contacted to display fog alerts on its electronic display screens in Dubai.

The early detection system seeks to avoid another accident like the one in March 2008, dubbed "Fog Tuesday". Four people died and 350 were hurt in a 200-vehicle pile-up near Ghantoot caused by poor visibility. pmenon@thenational.ae