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Published April 5, 2024

OPP issue safety reminder to public for Monday's solar eclipse

OPP

News release - Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)

OPP want to remind residents and tourists to prioritize safety while travelling or attending events and celebrations during the solar eclipse.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America. A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. Historically, eclipses have prompted mass movements of people to prime viewing areas.

Residents and tourists are encouraged to make road safety a top priority when travelling to take part in solar eclipse events:

  • It is essential to wear special eclipse glasses with filters designed for watching solar eclipses, but do not wear eclipse glasses while driving.
  • Do not photograph or video the eclipse while driving.
  • Share the road when attending large gatherings and never pull over or stop on the roadway and/or shoulder of the road to view the eclipse. Exit the roadway and park in a safe area away from traffic to view the eclipse.
  • Be prepared for delays in getting to and from your destination, including being aware of possible increased pedestrian traffic.
  • Check local community news or websites for advisories relating to traffic management such as detours and parking.
  • No amount of alcohol or drugs in your system is safe while driving. If you suspect that someone is driving while impaired, it's important to call 911 to report it.

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If you plan to be on the water during the solar eclipse, the OPP encourages boaters and paddlers to be well-informed about safe boating practices and laws to help ensure an enjoyable and safe time:

  • Ensure your boat is equipped with all the necessary safety gear and navigation tools including proper lighting, especially during low-light conditions.
  • Familiarize yourself with any regulations or restrictions in the area where you plan to view the eclipse. Some waterways may have specific guidelines for boaters during special events such as the solar eclipse.
  • Boaters and paddlers are vulnerable to unexpected changes in weather and wind conditions, making it important to ensure you and your vessel are well-prepared every time you go out on the water.
  • Always do a thorough check of your boat and safety equipment before heading out on the water.
  • Alcohol/drug-impaired operation of a motorized marine vessel is dangerous and carries the same penalties as impaired operation of a motor vehicle. 

To learn more about the solar eclipse, visit the Government of Canada's Canadian Space Agency website.

Banner image - file photo - Barrie 360

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