Dense Fog Warning

December 11, 2008 12:41:23 AM PST
The CHP has begun "pacing" traffic on the highway behind me all the way down through Tulare County. With this morning's pile-up fresh in people's minds, it seems many are paying attention to the fog advisory. With only a couple hundred feet of visibility in dense fog Valley drivers must be able to react and respond quickly on the road.

"So bad you can't even drive, especially in the morning on your way to work," said Steven Hernandez.

Steven Hernandez commutes on HWY 99 weekly. So does Frank Moreno whose work brings him in from Lodi. "I grew up in the Delta and it's bad. It's just something you deal with every winter."

Officer Mark McWilliams said, "They need to drive like their life depended on it. Because it does."

Officer Mark McWilliams says Highway Patrol will start pacing on the fog congested roads to keep drivers below the normal speed limit to ensure safety. "And at the same time Caltrans personal will start activating their changeable message signs which are those big billboard signs you see on the freeways and they'll advise you of dense fog, slow down."

The information Caltrans promises to deliver could potentially help prevent pileups like the one Wednesday morning in Tulare County. Four separate accidents occurred involving 56 cars and four big rigs. No one was seriously injured. Drivers we spoke to warn this wreck is a reminder why it is so important to follow CHP's suggestions for safe driving in this pea soup fog.

"Turn off the radio. Turn on the defroster. That's about it," said Hernandez.

"Just try to go slower because people drive fast still. I think people still drive way too fast," said Moreno.

Authorities are quick to point out that technology and traffic control can only do so much. It's ultimately up to Valley drivers to exercise common sense when driving through fog.

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