M1 Fog - Andy
Driving south from Leeds last night on the M1. Whilst the weather was foggy, the normal rear lights were visible on cars over one hundred metres away. Inevitably, certain drivers had their fog lights on. However, the motorway was still relatively free flowing.

However, further south, around Worksop and Nottingham, the overhead motorway signs displayed "Fog < new line> Use lights". Firstly, what does this sign mean? Should it have read "Use fog lights"? Or just normal headlights?

By no coincidence whatsoever, in my opinion, the majority of cars immediately turned on their fog lights, despite no deterioration in the conditions or visibility. As I am sure everyone knows, when fog lights are turned on, brake lights are harder to spot on many cars. Increased concentration was needed on the car in front, with the result that many drivers appeared to slow down to, in my opinion, unnecessarily slow speeds, and, because they were fixated on the car in front, understandably so, forgot to change lanes. Result, slow moving traffic spread out over three lanes with a minimum of traffic flow.

What caused all of this chaos was the overhead signs, in my opinion, stating the obvious, resulting in monkey see, monkey do. In my opinion, these signs should be used in a much more constructive way than to teach people the Highway Code. I have, for example, never seen one proclaiming that drivers should pull in once they have overtaken, etc. Added to the fact that these signs never appear to be updated to reflect current driving conditions, particularly in the case of fog, which can clear very quickly, and you have a very annoyed driver who only just made last orders. Mine's a Stella.


Re: M1 Fog - Brian
Dipped headlight are best for making the vehicle more visible.
On the M11 the overhead gantries were not being used (They very rarely are: total waste of money) but the repeaters on the central reservation were saying "Fog", although visibility was not seriously affected at that time.

On the non-motorway roads up to that point (rural) there was a mix of cars using no lights; parking lights; and dipped headlights.
When will people learn that parking lights are for parking or driving in very well lit urban conditions. On a rural road in mist they do NOT make the vehicle visible to oncoming traffic any sooner than no lights at all.
Re: M1 Fog - rg bhaji
Daytime lights as per Denmark, etc. Great idea!

Ultimate barminess shown by those driving on sidelights when one light is defective. My pushbike has better illumination!

Xenon lights particularly susceptibile to loss of efficiency when exterior lens dirty. Or maybe I need to see the optician again...

rg bhaji
Re: M1 Fog - Tony
Out of interest, could someone tell me who has overall control of the overhead signs on our motorways? Are they locally run by our police forces? Who decides and how the messages to give drivers?
Re: M1 Fog and signs - David Millar

I was coming down the other side of the country on the M6 last night in broadly similar conditions now and then but no message of that type on the signs. However, I did notice the much mentioned phenomenon of increased numbers of people using driving lamps in perfect conditions (not fogs because the rear fogs were not on). Often, as said before, they are misaligned or probably not adjustable as headlights have to be.

On your point about messages, I noticed a new in the Strathclyde Police area on the M74. They are fond of little homilies in their messages there and usually cover drinking and driving. This one said "Slow down on being overtaken". I presume it really meant "Don't speed up when being overtaken" with which I heartily agree.

Generally, though I find it very irritating that so many warning messages are out of date. On another trip north recently the signs indicated only lane 3 was open. A sizeable minority, including myself, ignored it and sure enough there was no evidence of any obstruction.

Re: M1 Fog - Lee H

I did the same run last night, down the A1 / M1 from Newcastle but turned off near Sheffield.

I was impressed that people were using the fog lights correctly, but I've never understood why the little square signs say 'fog'. It's pretty obvious when you're in it!

I'd agree completely with you about the rear fogs obscuring the brake lights - I found myself slowing down just to make sure there wasn't a problem ahead on seeing them.

I'd have much preferred not to do my journey last night, but had no option, especially given the lack of sensible alternatives in public transport, but that's a different story.

Re: M1 Fog - Richard Hall
If the fog is bad enough to be worth warning about, you won't be able to see the signs anyway....
Re: M1 Fog - Brian
The overhead signs are run by the local police forces, I believe.
The messages are dreamed up by a local control centre.
Useful things like "Avoid central London on Millenium Eve". (That is one of about three times that I have seen the M11 ones (2 off) completed about 2 years ago, half a mile apart). Hence my earlier post.
Re: M1 Fog - crazed idiot
i think many of the signs are subbed to the likes of serco to manage

sadly they screw up more often than they set them correctly

which is why they are a waste of time

if they actually got switched off some time soon after the problem they are supposed to be warning about cleared maybe people would take more notice

and as for 30 limits on a clear empty motorway, in clear dry conditions, its just taking the mick, and an excuse to take any sane persons licence
Re: M1 Fog - bert fegg
Seems to be a problem in notts - loads of drivers using rear / front fogs when there is absolutely no need. In fact the boy racers / poseurs use front fogs all the time round here. The Police are too busy enforcing bus lanes & writing mission statements to bother stopping miscreants tho'.
Re: M1 Fog - markymarkn
I think half the reason people use foglights and the smallest sign of reduced visibility is because foglights are rarely used throughout the rest of the year, and lots of people will be quite excited (maybe excited is the wrong word) at the novelty of needing to use them.

Driving round Notts centre last night, pretty much everyone had them on, especially front fogs although half of them only had one working (fronts) - probably because they never get used or checked. (apart from the boy racers of course).
Re: M1 Fog - Kevin

Seen on the school-run in Basingstoke this morning :

A Mitsubishi SWB 4X4 containing mum and two kids. On the front of the 4X4 were two high intensity fogs in the front chin spoiler and FOUR 7 or 8 inch diameter yellow tinted fogs mounted in two rows of two on the bullbar. ALL of them switched on (plus dipped headlights).

Value my car