Do’s and dont’s of driving I-5 during the eclipse

Medford, Ore.- With the solar eclipse coming up on Monday, Oregon State Police and Oregon Department of Transportation are preparing for an extremely busy weekend.

As a result, they’ve released a few do’s and don’ts for driving along 1-5 the day of the eclipse and the days leading up to it.

Government officials are telling Oregonians to avoid I-5 the day of the eclipse but if you do choose to drive on the interstate there’s a few things you need to know.

Get to where you’re viewing the eclipse early and stay there late. That’s what government officials are telling Oregonians when it comes to travel and viewing for next Monday’s solar eclipse.

More than 1 million people are expected to travel throughout the state to see the eclipse, and here in Southern Oregon ODOT officials say that traffic will be heavier than usual due to visitors driving up from California to see the eclipse, and residents of Southern Oregon traveling up to the Northern part of the state as well.

With all that increase in traffic comes an increased presence monitoring I-5. Oregon State Police are going to have all hands on deck. They’re planning to triple the number of officers on patrol. And ODOT will have most all of their maintenance and operations staff working.

But officials at Oregon State Police and ODOT say the biggest thing to keep in mind while driving along 1-5 leading up to, and during the eclipse, isn’t the increase in traffic. It’s making safe choices while driving.

“Pay close attention to whats going on,” ODOT’s Gary Leaming says.

And there’s one thing that both agencies are emphasizing. Do not stop on I-5 or the shoulder of I-5.

Officials are saying the traffic increase will be very similar to the traffic the Rogue Valley sees during Thanksgiving.

Both ODOT and Oregon State Police advise anyone traveling next Monday to consistently look at here for up to date traffic information.

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