Miros issues guidelines for driving in hazy conditions

Kenneth Tee
A motorcyclist travels along a road in Kampung Johan Setia in Klang September 18, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 ― With the recurring haze likely to persist until the end of the month, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) has come up with several road safety tips for motorists driving in hazy conditions.

Advising road users to be careful when driving in the haze, Miros director-general Dr Siti Zaharah Ishak said precautions should be taken to address the reduced visibility.

“Motorcyclists should wear bright colour or self-illuminating jackets and motorists should avoid stopping at illegal areas for their own safety.

“Pedestrians must always be aware of their surroundings as motorists may not be able to see them clearly and to only cross at designated areas,” she said in a statement here.

She added that as an extra precaution, motorists should inspect their headlights to ensure they are functioning and to turn these on to increase their visibility to other road users.

However, she reminded road users to refrain from using their high-beams unless necessary as doing so could be counterproductive to to reflection from air particles.

“If visibility is severely limited, use the fog lights as the illumination level of these lights will enable better visibility,” she said.

She also advised motorists not to take things for granted even when traversing familiar roads and to adjust their usual driving habits to suit conditions.

“In situations where visibility is limited, normal speeding limit may be considered too fast. A slower driving speed will allow one to react better when needed,” she said.

Siti Zaharah said the normal safe distance between vehicles may also be extended from four seconds to 12 seconds.

“This is crucial to allow one to react by braking or manoeuvring suddenly in emergency situations,” she said.

Raging forest fires across Indonesia are thought to be responsible for the current transboundary haze that has also engulfed Singapore and Brunei.

The pollution has forced thousands of schools in Malaysia to stop classes.

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