THP offers road safety reminder

By ALLEN MINCEY Staff Writer
Posted 8/19/17

Many motorists may stop along roadways Monday to view the solar eclipse, but the Tennessee Highway Patrol says this may cause more problems than the additional traffic expected in the …

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THP offers road safety reminder

Posted

Many motorists may stop along roadways Monday to view the solar eclipse, but the Tennessee Highway Patrol says this may cause more problems than the additional traffic expected in the area.

Lt. John Harmon said the highway patrol expects a heavy volume on the roadways, much of which will be on the interstate system across the state. He reminds those traveling on the interstate that stopping around the road is prohibited, even in the emergency lane.

“The emergency lane is extremely important not to be blocked for the use of emergency vehicles, if needed,” Harmon said.

Signage has been placed along roadways to remind motorists that they may not park during the solar eclipse. Not only will it possibly affect travel by emergency vehicles, but as motorists begin to travel again, they will experience large amounts of traffic which could lead to accidents.

“The THP wants the safe flow of traffic to continue through the eclipse for those who choose not to view the event,” Harmon said. “It could be possible that many drivers quickly get back on our roadways with an influx of heavy traffic in a small amount of time.”

Traffic in the local area has already increased, as many are traveling to the region to view the once-in-a-lifetime event, and much of it is related to the coming eclipse. Once the event is over, many motorists will immediately begin driving back to their homes, if they are not staying in the area into the week.

“We would encourage all drivers to watch their following distances as they travel to their destinations, either to the area or away from the area, due to the possible heavy volume of traffic,” Harmon added.

And, he added that motorists should not use the solar eclipse glasses while driving “as it will totally obstruct your view.”

“The Tennessee Highway Patrol’s goal is for everyone to enjoy the safe viewing of the eclipse, and arrive alive,” Harmon stressed.

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Some local events:

• Cleveland/ Bradley Public Library — 1 to 4 p.m. Included in the eclipse day programs are stories and crafts on the Jarnigan House porch, which are all appropriately themed for the occasion. Attendees will also have the chance to enjoy free hot dogs, popcorn and popsicles. The library is also hosting a science chat in the community room.

• Cleveland State Community College will hold its own Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on Monday, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the George L. Mathis Student Center for all faculty, staff and students.

• Moonlight & Fireflies on the Farm on Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Venue Farm is located at 197 New Hope Road S.E. There will be concessions, sweet treats, fun on the farm and “no city lights or traffic. Cost is $5 per person.

• Solar Sip and See, 1 to 4 p.m., at Morris Vineyard and Winery, 346 Union Grove Road N.E. There wil be live music, afternoon snacks, viewing glasses and wine tasting. This event is sold out.

• Sun & Moon Fest will be held at Reliance’s Hiwassee Ocoee State Park. Limited to 200, the fest is sold out.

• Copperhill/ McCaysville will have street party wth vendors, live music, food and more.

• Savannah Oaks Winery is planning a viewing party with a special edition Eclipse Wine.

• Ducktown Basin Museum is hosting a viewing event.

• Adventures Unlimited is planning an eclipse rafting trip along the Middle Ocoee River, with a space-themed dinner, a family-friendly social, live music, giveaways, and tent camping after the trip.

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