Oregon will be the first state in the U.S. to experience the total solar eclipse on August 21, 2017. Given the expected increase of traffic and tourism, the Oregon State Police would like to remind you that the eclipse is no excuse to break the law. For example, unless there is a genuine emergency or another exemption applies, you have no right to stop your car in traffic to get a better view. (See ORS 811.550 and ORS 811.560).
Thankfully, the eclipse is not expected to last nearly as long as Portland’s 2016-17 snowpocalypse, so there should be relatively few cars stuck on the road and waiting for ODOT tow trucks. If you’re driving and the sky goes dark, you should remember to turn on your headlights for however long the eclipse lasts. In Oregon, the total eclipse is expected to last about 2 minutes at approximately 10:15 AM on August 21. In many states to the east the eclipse will last for approximately 30 seconds longer, but will arrive later in the day. More eclipse details here and here.
Police in other states are preparing to keep law and order on the day of the eclipse as well. However, nobody really knows how things will go. In Idaho, Lieutenant Paul Manning of the Pocatello Police Department put it like this: “It would be nice if this turned out to be like Y2K from years ago where you make tons and tons of preparation and then everything goes smoothly. . . . But if you don’t prepare, it could come back to haunt you.”
© 8/16/2017 Michael Litvin of Hunt & Associates, P.C. All rights reserved.