DOT: Focus on the road, not the eclipse

DOT: Focus on the road, not the eclipse

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation are reminding drivers to keep their eyes on the road during Monday’s eclipse.

The nation’s first total solar eclipse since 1979 will likely have many people looking toward the sky Monday, but traffic safety officials want drivers to focus on the road, turn on their low-beam headlights, and if they decide to stop and view the eclipse, park in a safe area.

“We’re simply reminding motorists to remain focused on driving at all times, use common sense, and never stop along a roadway unless it’s an emergency,” said David Pabst, director of WisDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Safety. “Any time that motorists stop along a highway, they put themselves and their passengers at risk of being struck, injured or killed by other vehicles.”

The eclipse will be visible Monday in Wisconsin from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with peak darkness shortly after 1 p.m. as the moon covers about 80 percent of the sun, according to a release.

“For many people, this will be their first major solar eclipse, and some will want to capture the event on their smartphone or other electronic device,” Pabst said. “Along with taking steps to protect their eyes, we’re asking drivers to be smart and to resist distractions whenever they’re behind the wheel so everyone can reach their destinations safely.”