The heavy fog on Emirates road in Dubai. Image Credit: Arshad Ali/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi/Al Ain: Traffic police have planned to introduce an electronic weather system on Abu Dhabi roads to alert motorists of fog, rain, and visibility problem ahead.

The system, based on latest technology, combines Smart Traffic System Centre (STSC) and Variable Message Signs (VMS) and will later be implemented across the country, a senior police official told Gulf News on Wednesday.

Brigadier Engineer Hussain Ahmad Al Harthi, Director of Abu Dhabi Police Traffic and Patrols Directorate, said the STSC will work with weather sensors to receive reports from the National Centre of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS).

“The STSC will help us determine the number of patrol cars to be dispatched and distributed accordingly across the capital. Meanwhile, VMS will broadcast to drivers the new temporary speed limits for this period of time,” Brigadier Al Harthi told Gulf News.

The official said that the new system will also help the police to react quickly to accidents and incidents that may follow to prevent pile-ups on the roads.

Visibility

Dense fog is a major for motorists across the country in the winter months. Visibility also gets affected in summer with heavy dust storm. Poor horizontal visibility, especially due to fog, causes traffic snarl in the cities with office workers and school children stuck for hours.

Motorists on highways also face difficulties when visibility drops to almost zero. Many people have died or been injured in traffic pile-ups. In such an accident at least three people were killed and 350 injured in a 60 vehicle pile-up on Abu Dhabi-Dubai Road near Ghantoot in March 2008.

Meteorologists said that fog should be considered clouds at ground level. It forms when water droplets in the air condense due to cold condition mostly late in the night and early in the morning. High humidity and slow moving winds play a critical role in fog formation.

The Smart Traffic System Centre at the Abu Dhabi Police and Traffic Directorate, includes tracking systems, patrols distribution information, traffic accidents analysis system, and smart traffic awareness system among other features.

Al Harthi said that the Directorate has launched some 20 traffic programmes since the beginning of this year in a bid to raise public awareness on road safety. The initiatives aim to increase public education on issues such as the importance of wearing seat belts, reducing speeds, respecting pedestrians, maintaining safe distances between vehicles among other concerns.