Two highway security advocates urged drivers to play it extraordinarily cautious on the island’s highways within the midst of the ash fall from the La Soufriere volcano in neighbouring St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Each Sharmane Roland-Bowen, president of the Barbados Highway Security Affiliation (BRSA), and her predecessor Junior Jordan highlighted the challenges posed by the low visibility.
Bowen and Jordan inspired Barbadians to remain off the roads and solely enterprise from dwelling, if completely needed.
“The roads have change into very hazardous with the ash fall; the dearth of visibility and the floor of the highway have additionally change into hazardous,” Roland-Bowen instructed Nation On-line.
“We might advise motorists to decelerate and drive with their headlights on, even whether it is daylight. The headlights usually are not simply so that you can see, however it’s also for the opposite drivers to see you, even earlier than they get near you.”
She stated: “We need to advise motorists that due to the ash on the highway, it’ll take an extended time for them to cease, so depart an satisfactory quantity of house between you and the automobile that’s forward of you.
“Decelerate. Take your time and take a look at to not make issues worse by turning into distracted by utilizing a cell phone or driving below the influences of medicine or alcohol.
“Make the very best of a nasty scenario by taking the entire precautions. Take your time. If they don’t have to be out on the roads at the moment, keep off. Attempt to not use the air situation as a result of that can usher in stuff and may have an effect on drivers with allergic reactions.”
Jordan stated the ash fall made circumstances look like like very dangerous climate and he too, stated drivers should not use their hazard lights.
“Drivers ought to use their headlights on low beam,” he stated. “They are going to nonetheless want the hazard lights to be visitors indicators for turning left or proper, and that will probably be essential at the moment.
“They need to not use the excessive beam on their headlights as a result of even through the daytime below regular circumstances, they are often dazzling.
“I occurred to be on the highway, and I noticed a lot of individuals hurrying to get by way of the haze. That’s the actual reverse of what they need to do. Anytime you could have diminished visibility, you need to drive a lot slower than regular.
“Drivers mustn’t enhance their velocity to attempt to get the place they’re going faster. This can be a case, the place you need to solely depart dwelling when it’s critically needed.”
Roland-Bowen and Jordan stated the ash on the highway induced the floor to be slippery and drivers should extraordinarily cautious when braking.
“(The ash) will scale back the traction on the highway,” she stated. “If a driver goes to make a sudden cease, it’ll hamper them, so drivers have to be conscious that the roads are hazardous at the moment.
“You shouldn’t be driving with dangerous tyres, but when a motorist is aware of that they want new tyres on their automobile, it’s advisable for them to remain dwelling and keep off the highway as a lot as potential.
“They need to not take the chance of going on the market as a result of they by no means know what may occur.”
Jordan additionally cautioned drivers to look out for motorcyclists and other people strolling to get train as a result of they may simply be missed if the ash fall is thick and visibility is low.
“That is one thing I examine that occurred in Canada, the place motorcyclists have been being knocked down regularly,” he stated.
“Everybody utilizing the highway at the moment ought to use their headlights. Automobile drivers, motorcyclists and cyclists too, ought to use a lightweight to point their motion.
“Lots of people need to get out and stroll to train, however they should have reflective clothes, and in some instances, even lights that they will shine to point to oncoming visitors and to be seen.” (AR)