Carl DeFebo
Manager, Media and Public Relations

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Carl DeFebo
724-755-5142, Fax

November 22, 2005



Pa. State Police will launch holiday "Click It or Ticket" Campaign

   HARRISBURG PA. (Nov. 22, 2005) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike is ready for the heavily traveled Thanksgiving period — the busiest holiday of the year for the 531-mile toll-road system. In preparation, all planned Turnpike construction and maintenance work is suspended to allow maximum use of the roadway; at least four lanes will be open from 3 p.m. on Tuesday Nov. 22 until 6 a.m. on Monday Nov. 28, except in emergencies.Maintenance crews, safety patrols, and the Pennsylvania State Police will boost their forces over the holiday to assist stranded motorists, keep traffic moving smoothly and respond to any Turnpike  emergencies.

   "We expect 2.7 million vehicles will travel the Turnpike during the four-day period from Wednesday through Sunday," said Pennsylvania State Police Capt. Rodney Patterson, commander of Troop T. "We are placing additional troopers on duty to help ensure traveler safety and enforce traffic laws; and Troop T will be taking part in the statewide ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign to enforce the commonwealth’s seatbelt usage law."

   Turnpike motorists should be aware of the chance for slow-moving traffic and heavy volumes throughout the Thanksgiving period. Peak travel times are traditionally on Wednesday and Sunday, generally between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. "If it’s at all possible for you to rearrange your travel plans to avoid these especially congested times, we’d strongly encourage you do so," Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier said. "And if you do encounter slow or stopped traffic, please remember to turn on your headlights and your four-way flashers and keep ample distance from the vehicle ahead of you."Should the holiday forecast include snow, sleet or freezing rain, Turnpike maintenance crews are prepared to respond 24-hours-a-day at a moment’s notice to keep the highway open. Before departing for their destinations, travelers can call the Turnpike’s toll-free weather lineat 1-(800) 331-3414 for roadway and weather information or visit for updates.

   In case of an accident, breakdown or medical emergency, motorists can utilize one of the bright-yellow emergency call boxes located along the shoulder. 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 or 1-800-332-3880 to receive emergency aid. Be prepared to give your exact milepost location and direction of travel when you call.

   Oversized and overweight commercial vehicles are banned on the Turnpike during the holiday from sundown Tuesday, Nov. 22 to sunrise Monday, Nov. 28, restricting all vehicles exceeding any of the following: 10 feet wide; 85 feet long; 13 _ feet high; and 100,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Brimmeier reminded Thanksgiving travelers to take advantage of the E-ZPass electronic toll-collection system as a way to get there quicker — without having to wait in line, stop at a tollbooth, orfumble for loose change and toll tickets.

   "This is the best time for E-ZPass, because it can help get your holiday started a little sooner," Brimmeier said. "No matter where grandmother’s house is, your Pennsylvania E-ZPass can be used in 10 other states — including New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia."To get E-ZPass, visit or call 1-877-PENN-PASS (1-877-736-6727). Motorists can get E-ZPass at select AAA offices. E-ZPass transponders are available at dozens of AAA offices throughout Pennsylvania. Yet another way to open an E-ZPass account is through special vending machines at three Turnpike rest stops. The "Tag Teller" machines are at the Turnpike’s Hempfield Service Plaza, Westmoreland County, the King of Prussia Service Plaza, Montgomery County and the Allentown Service Plaza on the Northeastern Extension, Lehigh County.

   "Whether you use the AAA office or the Tag Teller, your tag is issued immediately, and you’ll be able to use it right away," Brimmeier said. "Just remember to have your credit card, driver’s license and license plate number handy whenever you sign up; you’ll need all three to get an E-ZPass tag."


P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676 • Phone: (717) 939-9551 • Fax: (717) 986-9649