Media & 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
Manager, Media & Public Relations
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Desk (717) 920-7176

May 24, 2007


Pa. Turnpike Urges Travelers: 'Be in the Know
Before You Go'

Visit or call 1-866-976-TRIP for latest turnpike conditions.

HARRISBURG PA. (May 24, 2007) - This year, Pennsylvania Turnpike motorists can get real-time information about roadway conditions to help plan that Memorial Day trip. Turnpike officials are advising motorists headed for the toll road to check out conditions before they leave. Tap into the new Turnpike Roadway Information Program, or "TRIP," by visiting or calling 1-866-976-TRIP.

"Memorial Day is one of the heaviest traveled holidays on the turnpike, and this year could be a record breaker - even with skyrocketing prices at the gas pump," said Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier. "So we are urging customers to be in the know before they go by logging onto our web site or by calling the toll-free number."

At, travelers can view an interactive web map that delivers a quick, easy view of conditions across the 537-mile toll road. The map features live traffic cams, at-a-glance traffic-flow indicators, weather conditions, audio travel advisories and more. Online, motorists can join the free Preferred Traveler program and be automatically notified via e-mail or even via cellular phone about accidents, backups, bad weather or other conditions that might affect their travels. Motorists can choose their regularly traveled stretch of turnpike to receive only applicable alerts.

This Memorial Day weekend, turnpike travelers will have an added sense of security thanks to the 28 new, red-and-white safety patrol vehicles on duty across the road. It's the first Memorial Day to feature the State Farm Safety Patrol as free service to motorists. The State Farm Safety Patrol includes turnpike-owned and operated vehicles staffed by turnpike employees who provide roadside assistance. They patrol the roadway to identify and report problems and render assistance. They respond to accidents and other incidents, providing traffic control and communicating with the turnpike's 24/7 traffic operations center and other responders.

Brimmeier noted that the State Farm patrol and other safety measures embody the superior customer safety and convenience motorists have come to expect on America's First Superhighway. "We're consistently ranked among the safest interstates in the nation, and our customers expect more when they travel on the Pennsylvania Turnpike," he said.

"I am proud to tell our customers you're never alone on the Pennsylvania Turnpike," Brimmeier said. "And our unparalleled safety programs like TRIP, the State Farm patrols, emergency call boxes, and a vigilant State Police troop truly attest to that claim, distinguishing us from other highway systems."

Cpl. Rick Dean of the Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, reminds travelers to drive sensibly during the congested Memorial Day weekend. "Troopers will be out watching for speeders and aggressive drivers - and taking part in a statewide Click-it-or-Ticket operation," Cpl. Dean said. "Our objective is that all of the travelers on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will have a safe holiday."

During the busy holiday, all maintenance and construction work will be suspended through 6 a.m. Wednesday May 30, and all lanes will be open to traffic except in emergencies. In the event of emergency lane restrictions, the turnpike will activate its Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radio System (1640AM) to inform motorists of problems.

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 milepost location and direction of travel when you call.

Cpl. Dean reminds travelers to "call STAR one-one, not NINE one-one" on their mobile phones for faster assistance or to report an accident or incident they witness or are involved in only on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Beginning tonight through Monday evening, motorists should be aware of the potential for slow-moving traffic and heavy volumes. When driving in slow traffic, motorists should turn on headlights, maintain speed and keep ample distance from the vehicle ahead.