New weather stations set up along coastal highway to improve safety

Taipei-Two of 16 weather stations planned to be added along Provincial Highway No. 61 to improve the safety of road users have been completed, the Directorate General of Highways said in a statement released on Wednesday.

The two new stations are located in Yunlin and Chiayi counties on the 301.86-kilometer highway along the coast of western Taiwan, the highway authorities said.

The establishment of the new weather stations follows a deadly 20-vehicle pileup in Chiayi County on Feb. 21 that led to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ March 4 decision to spend NT$3.5 billion (US$122.88 million) to improve road safety along the highway.

The initial police report on the accident that took two lives and injured eight others listed poor visibility because of heavy fog as one of the possible causes.

In addition to the new weather stations, the ministry also plans to increase the amount of monitoring equipment such as CCTV cameras and vehicle detectors along the coastal highway linking New Taipei and Tainan.

Four more weather stations along the section between Changhua County and Tainan are scheduled to be established by November, while the remaining 10, between New Taipei and Taichung, should be completed by March 2022, according to the statement.

The new weather stations will allow the highway authorities to better inform drivers about road conditions through real-time information boards and to issue weather alerts through government apps, the statement said.

The highway authorities also reminded drivers to slow down and maintain a longer distance between vehicles when driving through heavy fog or smog.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel