Media & Public Relations



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

November 21, 2007


Pennsylvania Turnpike Officials Brace for 2.8 Million Customers Over Thanksgiving

State Police offer safety tips, remind travelers to check out missing kids posters.

HARRISBURG, PA (11/21/2007)(readMedia)-- Pennsylvania Turnpike officials expect more than 2.8 million vehicles will travel the Turnpike during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday period today through Sunday — the busiest holiday of the year on the 537-mile toll road.

All planned construction and maintenance work has been modified to allow maximum use of the roadway; at least four lanes will be open now until 6 a.m. on Monday Nov. 26, except in emergencies. Some roadwork that does not impact lanes will continue behind barriers in some areas, reducing shoulder widths. Drivers should remain cautious in these areas.

The Turnpike expects traffic volumes will be heaviest this evening up until 8 p.m. and Sunday especially from noon to 8 p.m. Motorists should be aware of the likelihood of slow-moving and sporadic stopped traffic tonight and on Sunday.

Maintenance crews, safety patrols, and the State Police are increasing forces to assist stranded motorists, keep traffic moving and respond to emergencies.

Cpl. Richard N. Dean of the Pennsylvania State Police Troop T reminds Thanksgiving motorists to buckle up. “Remember, as the driver, you are responsible to make sure that everyone in the vehicle is wearing their seatbelts or is properly secured in an age-appropriate safety restraint,” Cpl. Dean said.

Troopers also remind motorists to move over when they see safety responders stopped on the shoulder. “If you spot a trooper or other responder on the right, move over to the passing lane,” Cpl. Dean said. “Officers and others are killed every year while doing their jobs to keep us safe. So when you see flashing lights ahead, safely move over.”

In case of a Turnpike emergency, dial “star-one-one” on your mobile phone. This toll-free number connects you with a dispatcher at a 24-7 operations center who will alert responders. You’ll need to tell the dispatcher your milepost location. If you can’t use a mobile phone or don’t know your location, use one of the bright-yellow call boxes along the shoulder.

Turnpike motorists can now get current travel information online or over the phone about roadway conditions. Tap into the Turnpike Roadway Information Program, or “TRIP,” by visiting or calling 1-866-976-TRIP. Check out conditions before you leave and even while you’re on the highway.


Missing Kids Reminder

The Turnpike and state police encourage travelers to stop and look at missing-children posters displayed at Pa. Turnpike service plazas. One in six children is recovered as a result of this photo campaign; by taking time to look at photos, you might help bring a child home. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) also reminds parents and guardians not to let their guard down or be distracted while traveling this holiday season. NCMEC offers the following tips:

  • Accompany and supervise children in public facilities, including restrooms;

  • Have a back-up plan in case you become separated, including a pre-designated spot to meet;

  • Avoid clothing that displays a child’s first or last name, prompting unwelcome attention;

  • Remind children to remain in the area where they become separated.

Additional tips to keep children safer while shopping and traveling are online at