To counter reduced visibility on the National Highways due to onset of the winter season NHAI Chairman, Shri Santosh Kumar Yadav has directed NHAI field offices to undertake various mitigation measures. With reduced visibility due to foggy conditions posing significant risk to the safety of the National Highways users, these measures will help to avoid potential accidents that endanger the safety of highway users.
To enhance road safety during foggy conditions, mitigation measures have been classified under two heads of Engineering measures and Safety Awareness measures. The ‘Engineering measures’ include reinstalling missing/damaged road signs, rectifying faded or inadequate pavement markings, enhance 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 & merging locations.
Similarly, ‘Safety Awareness’ measures underline incorporating steps to alert highway users of the reduced visibility conditions. These measures include 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 km/hr in foggy areas. Use of electronic billboards, radio, and social media for public service announcements on Toll Plazas, Wayside Amenities during foggy conditions and installation of reflective tapes on full width of 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 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 Nighttime Highway inspection on a weekly basis by 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. Also, Highway Patrol vehicles will be stationed near dense foggy stretches. The highway operation and maintenance team will carry red/green blinking batons to guide 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.
NHAI is committed to take all necessary steps to mitigate risk of travelling on National Highways during the winter season and ensure a safe and seamless travel experience for National Highway users.