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Fog a problem on rural Central Valley roadways

Earlier this month, five field workers were killed in rural Stockton, California, after a driver ran a stop sign and collided into another vehicle. Although not the primary cause of the accident, fog was reported to have been a factor in the crash.

Winter fog in California’s Central Valley has being blamed for many car accidents this month, and the problem tends to be the worst on rural roads. A spokesman from the California Rural League Assistance said the road lines and boundary markers can be very difficult to see on foggy back country roads.

Although traffic is sparse, the roads are frequented by farm workers, like the ones who were killed in the crash earlier this month. In order to help keep these workers safe, the California Highway Patrol launched a program more than 10 years ago called the Safety and Farm Labor Vehicle Education Program.

Under the program, vehicles carrying more than nine workers must be certified with the CHP. The CHP then checks to make sure that the vehicles have working seat belts for all passengers and that there is a fire extinguisher on board the vehicle.

Additionally, drivers who are certified must go through hours of classes, car inspections get a class B driver’s license. Not only does the program help to keep farm workers safe, it also helps keep other people using the rural roadways safe as well.

It was reported that neither of the drivers involved with the fatal accident earlier this month were licensed to drive. The employer of the workers could potentially face criminal or civil liability if company vehicles were being used by unlicensed and uncertified drivers. 

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