400,000 plus visitors to Nebraska for eclipse

Staff Writer

The Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) is preparing for a great increase in traffic as potentially 400,000 or more people may visit Nebraska to watch the Total Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21, 2017.

NSP will be conducting a special enforcement on I-80 and other major highways in or around the path of totality. The enforcement will begin Saturday, August 19 and run through Monday, August 21, when traffic is expected to reach peak levels for eclipse viewers.

“Our agency and partners have been preparing for this event for more than a year,” Major Russ Stanczyk, Acting Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol, said. “We hope that all drivers, both local and visiting, follow the traffic safety laws and heed the safety messages we’ve been issuing for weeks. Together, we can make this a safe event and remember it for the eclipse and surrounding events rather than traffic problems or accidents.”

NSP’s Safety Messages Include:
· Do not park on the shoulders of I-80 or major highways in the path of totality.
· Pay attention to your surroundings as many drivers may not be familiar with Nebraska.
· Do not drive impaired or distracted and do not attempt to take pictures while driving.
· Wear your seat belt and obey Nebraska’s traffic safety laws.

The objective of this enforcement is to decrease the potential for accidents occurring on Nebraska’s roadways as local residents and visitors travel across the state for eclipse viewing and related activities. The enforcement will include an increased presence on I-80 and other major highways expecting increased traffic. NSP will also operate three aircraft to assist in traffic operations.

The special enforcement is made possible thanks in part to a grant from the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office (NDOT-HSO) for $9,480.

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