NHAI steps up safety drive on highways as fog cuts visibility
New Delhi: With reduced visibility due to the winter fog posing a significant risk to the safety of motorists on national highways in the northern states, the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has stepped up its emphasis on safety measures to avoid accidents.
NHAI chairman Santosh Kumar Yadav has directed the field offices to undertake various “engineering measures” and “safety awareness” measures to prevent accidents that take place due to foggy conditions.
The ‘Engineering measures’ include reinstalling missing or damaged road signs, rectifying faded or inadequate pavement markings, enhancing the visibility of safety devices by providing reflective markers, median markers, etc., providing transverse bar markings in habitations and accident-prone locations, ensuring functional blinkers at median openings at under construction zones and hazardous locations, replacement of damaged hazard markers signs at diverging and merging locations.
Similarly, safety awareness measures underline incorporating steps to alert highway users of the reduced visibility conditions.
These measures include the use of Variable Message Signs (VMS) or electronic signages to display ‘Foggy Weather Alerts’ and speed limit messages.
Use of Public Address System warning commuters about driving speed limit of 30 kmph in foggy areas.
The directions also mention the use of electronic billboards, radio, and social media for public service announcements on Toll Plazas and wayside Amenities during foggy conditions and the installation of reflective tapes on full-width vehicles on the highways.
The guidelines also encourage NHAI officials to create awareness among highway users to use blinkers and follow traffic rules.
In addition, safety awareness pamphlets will also be distributed to commuters crossing the toll plaza with a contact number to share information about foggy conditions and assist in case of accidents.
In addition, NHAI field offices have been directed to undertake night-time highway inspection every week by a team consisting of NHAI officials, Independent Engineers, and Concessionaire/Contractor to assess visibility on the highway and identify locations for installing additional provisions as required.
Highway Patrol vehicles will also be stationed near dense foggy stretches.
The highway operation and maintenance team will carry a red/green blinking baton for guiding traffic in case of an accident and establish seamless collaboration with local law enforcement, ambulance services, and municipal authorities.
The NHAI team will also conduct joint drills and exercises to ensure efficient coordination during fog-related emergencies.