PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION WORKS TO ENSURE SAFETY OF TRAVELERS
THROUGHOUT MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Turnpike construction and maintenance work will be halted for the holiday.
PA. (May 22, 2002)
— The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission urges motorists to obey posted
speed limits, buckle up and watch out for aggressive drivers during the busy
Memorial Day period — one of the most heavily traveled holiday weekends of
the year. Pennsylvania State Police will be patrolling the Turnpike in full
force all through the holiday.
“We expect more than 2 million
vehicles will be traveling on the Turnpike during the weekend,” said
Pennsylvania State Police Capt. David K. Points, commander of Troop T which
is responsible for patrolling the Turnpike. “We are placing additional
Troop T officers on duty Memorial Day weekend to help ensure the safety of
Turnpike travelers and to strictly enforce the traffic laws.”
All Turnpike maintenance and
construction work will be suspended beginning 3 p.m. Thursday May 23 through
6 a.m. Wednesday May 29, and all lanes will be open to traffic (except in
emergencies). In the event of lane restrictions, the Turnpike will activate
its Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radio System (1640AM) to
inform motorists of roadway problems. During the weekend, increased
maintenance staff will be standing by to respond to customer assistance
calls and emergencies.
“According to an AAA survey,
more Americans plan on traveling this Memorial Day weekend compared to last
year, but fewer will be flying,” said Turnpike Executive Director John T.
Durbin. “Plus, gasoline prices are expected to remain stable or perhaps
even fall a few cents, meaning we could be in for an especially busy holiday
as far as traffic. Therefore, it becomes even more paramount to use extra
caution when driving this weekend.”
Motorists should be aware of the potential for slow-moving traffic and heavy
volumes, especially during the afternoons and evenings on both Friday and
Monday. When driving in slow traffic, motorists should turn on their headlights, maintain
speed and keep ample distance from the vehicle ahead.
As an extra safety precaution,
over-dimensional commercial vehicles (trucks exceeding 8-1/2 feet wide, 85
feet long, 13-1/2 feet high or 100,000 pounds gross weight) will be
restricted from traveling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike beginning sundown
Thursday May 23 to sunrise Wednesday May 29.
To avert distracted or drowsy driving, motorists are reminded to stop at any
of the Turnpike’s 21 service plazas for a safety break. Plazas are open 24
hours a day and offer a variety of food and drink choices. Travelers are
also reminded that the Turnpike’s Farmers’ Markets will be open this
weekend. Markets are located at Allentown (north and southbound on the
Northeastern Extension), Valley Forge (eastbound only), Sideling Hill (east
and westbound), and New Stanton (westbound).
Travelers can call the Turnpike’s toll-free customer assistance line at
1-(800)-331-3414 for roadway, traffic and weather conditions before leaving
for their destination. Also, motorists can browse the Turnpike web page at
www.paturnpike.com for pertinent information on travel, construction and
other Turnpike news.
In case of an accident, breakdown
or medical emergency, motorists who require assistance on the Turnpike can
utilize one of the bright-yellow emergency call boxes located along the
shoulder at one-mile intervals. In such an event, it is crucial that the
vehicle be moved away from active travel lanes and every effort is made to
keep a safe distance from moving traffic. Cellular phone users can dial *11
to receive needed emergency aid. Be prepared to give your exact milepost
location and direction of travel when you call.