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Bus drivers need to follow comprehensive procedures and safety tips during difficult weather, including heavy rain, strong winds and foggy conditions. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirates Transport (ET), the UAE’s government-owned public transport provider, has called on its drivers to be extra careful when driving during unstable weather conditions.

Hanan Saqer, executive director of ET’s Corporate Services, said bus drivers should follow comprehensive procedures and safety tips during difficult weather, including heavy rain, strong winds and foggy conditions. “Among the reminders sent out to ET drivers was an instruction to halt their journey and stop their vehicles by the side of the road at times of low visibility of less than 100 metres,” she said on Monday

Saqer also pointed out cooperation among all concerned groups, including all road users, are essential to ensure road safety. The procedures, she added, are based on the company’s emergency plan issued by the Department of Environment, and Occupational Health & Safety and adheres to regulations and recommendations issued by the National Centre for Meteorology and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

What to do while driving in the rain
> When visibility is down, slow down; attention up and distance up
> Increase the distance from the 3 seconds in good weather to a minimum of 5 seconds during the rain — you must be able to stop within the distance of visibility
> Turn on the lights: low beam head lights, front and rear fog lights — no hazard lights
> Consider longer braking distances due to wet or slippery road surface
> When it’s raining, reduce your speed to avoid aquaplaning
> Use your windscreen wipers properly; use your heater and A/C to avoid fogging of the wind screen
> Concentrate and do not get distracted by your passengers, your phone or other things
> Listen to the radio for traffic updates
> Ask your passengers to help keep an eye out for oncoming cars and obstacles on the road
> Stay in your lane and don’t drift — there’s a natural tendency to wander into the middle of the road when visibility gets bad.
> If you have no visibility, pull over to the side of the road and turning on your hazard lights alert other drivers of where you are, or pull into petrol stations or rest areas.
> Plan your trip properly and leave earlier or try not to be on the road at all, if possible
— Source: RoadSafety UAE

Saqer added Emirates Transport has conducted regular maintenance operations ahead of the winter weather.

Weather warning

Over the weekend, the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) has issued a warning to residents to stay away from valleys and not risk crossing them during rain and floods.

A spokesperson at the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) also told Gulf News weather disturbances are expected as the weather in the UAE transitions from autumn to winter. “Always be extra careful especially now that the weather is transitioning from autumn to winter,” the spokesperson said.