Onset of fog sounds note of caution for commuters in Amritsar


Amritsar, December 18

Dense fog, first of the season, enveloped the region, making commuting a difficult task amid low visibility on Sunday. In many of the areas, especially in rural parts of the district, the fog was so dense that the residents could not see till 1 pm.

While the change in weather has made the residents happier as it has increased the visible effect of the cold, the drivers of vehicles and daily commuters are a worried lot. With the visibility constrained to only a few metres, commuters are having a hard time reaching their destinations.

A shopkeeper from Jhabal, Harnam Singh said, “Usually it takes around 35 minutes to travel from Amritsar to Jhabal, but today it took more than an hour as visibility was low.”

He said the absence of proper road infrastructure in rural areas to guide drivers through fog is the biggest threat to the safety of commuters.

Lack of awareness among the general public is worrying as the absence of proper fog lights and tail lights on private vehicles is witnessed as a matter of routine.

The white markings on the side of the roads which help drivers to stay on the road during the fog are not available on most of the link roads connecting the rural areas.

“Driving in dense fog is risky and in the absence of proper infrastructure, it becomes life threatening. If proper markings and signs are available, the chances of accidents would decrease,” said Alambir Singh, another resident.

In the evening, the fog started to appear again. “The foggy days are a driver’s worst nightmare, especially as most people are not accustomed to driving in low visibility which increases the chance of accidents,” said Surinder Singh, a bus driver.

In an advice for fellow drivers, he said, “Switch on the fog lights and tail lights and keep the music low. Sometimes when it is not clearly visible, one has to hear the sounds of other vehicles to gauge their location.”