We are now getting to the time of year when as motorists we have to deal with fog, a driving factor that is equally as dangerous as ice, snow and heavy rain.
To aid drivers in such low visibility conditions, car manufacturers must fit rear fog lights as a compulsion. Here in Ireland there is no compulsion of the fitment of front fog lights, a factor that seriously diminishes their safety substantially.
Cat’s eyes, those reflective road studs, are there for the benefit of drivers in low light conditions, as are Junction Definition Posts and painted road markings.
Cat’s eyes are:
Amber at the Hard Shoulder or road edge, on the Left Side of the road. (Drivers travelling in Northern Ireland & UK note that Cat’s Eyes at these locations are Red)
Amber on the Right Side of the offside lane, (the right lane), of dual carriageways
White on the Lane Divide
Green at junction bell-mouths
Green at slip roads off dual carriageways
Yellow Broken Line on Left denotes National and R-Road classification
Solid Yellow denotes Motorway (or restricted parking on National Road)
Broken white lines are lane dividers
Solid white lines are lane dividers
A solid white line will also be on the right side of a dual-carriageway at the Central Reservation.
Junction Definition Posts
These are 1 metre tall, are Green and White reflective and are either side of junctions on National Roads.
Driving in fog
You MUST know these markings, as they give you a definitive location on the road.
In bad fog, travel on dipped headlights, with radio off and drivers window open slightly so as you hear other traffic.
Activate you rear fog lights, (and front if fitted), once vision ahead drops below the length of a football pitch – approximately 100 metres.
Front Fog Lights
Vehicles fitted with Front Fog Lights will benefit from the road markings, cats eyes and Junction Definition Posts.
Front Fog Lights are fitted below the headlights, normally low in the front bumper. They are cut so as they throw light low to the left and to the right – where they pick up Cats Eyes, Road Markings and Junction Definition Posts.
As with rear fog lights, turn off front fog lights once visibility exceeds beyond 100 metres.
Front Fog Lights are hugely beneficial and are highly recommended as a safety option, when purchasing a new car/van by the Institute of Advanced Motorists of Ireland Limited.