Motorists urged to stay safe amid potential fog and rain

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) cautioned on Thursday against speeding and not leaving enough distance between vehicles.
Motorists should be wary of  bad weather that is expected to cover the UAE in the coming couple of months. Sarah Dea / The National
Motorists should be wary of bad weather that is expected to cover the UAE in the coming couple of months. Sarah Dea / The National
Motorists have been urged to exercise more caution when driving in adverse weather conditions, such as fog and rain.

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) cautioned on Thursday against speeding and not leaving enough distance between vehicles.

Motorists should be more attentive during the season because of an increased likelihood of traffic accidents due to rain and fog, said Maitha bin Udai, chief executive of the RTA.

The authority is ready to start an awareness campaign about safe driving in these conditions.

"It is very crucial for drivers to leave extra distance from vehicles in front of them," Ms bin Udai said.

"Drivers must not be distracted by mobile phones, and the vehicle's windows, glass and mirrors have to be clean."

Motorists should not exceed the speed limit, she said.

RTA will use social media, monitors at customer-service centres, cashiers' screens at malls, advertising at petrol stations and websites to spread awareness, Ms bin Udai said. The messages will be in Arabic and English.

Leaflets will also be distributed to truck drivers in Al Awir, Jebel Ali and RTA service centres, educating motorists about how to drive in rainy conditions.

Driving over the speed limit during winter leads to "surprises" that motorists cannot avoid in time because they have poor control of the vehicle, Ms bin Udai said.

"Needless to say that wet or soaked roads contribute to vehicles skidding when the brake is suddenly applied."

Motorists should have vehicles inspected and maintained, especially with lighting bulbs, wipers, tyres and brakes.

They should slow down, leave enough space between vehicles and always expect traffic flow to stop at any time, RTA said.

Poor visibility amid heavy fog led to a pile-up of more than 200 vehicles near Ghantoot in March 2008 that became known as Fog Tuesday. Four people died, 350 were injured and 20 cars caught fire.

According to the Ministry of Interior, there were 463 road deaths in the first eight months of 2014, compared with 464 in 2013. The figure is down from 956 in 2010, an estimated rate of 12.7 per population of 100,000.

The UN General Assembly has named 2011 to 2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety to combat traffic fatalities worldwide.

newsdesk@thenational.ae

Published: December 25, 2014 04:00 AM

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