Media & Public Relations

Contact: Carl DeFebo
Phone: 717.920.7176
June 10, 2010
Pa. Turnpike to Host 'Safety Breaks' at Allentown, Sideling Hill Service Plazas

June 11 events urge Turnpike Travelers to steer clear of distracted driving
HARRISBURG, PA (06/10/2010)(readMedia)-- To promote public safety, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will host "Safety-Break" events at its busiest travel plazas - the Allentown Service Plaza on the Northeastern Extension and the Sideling Hill Service Plaza on the east-west mainline - tomorrow, June 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Tomorrow's Safety-Break theme is distracted driving. Safety specialists will remind Turnpike motorists to put down mobile devices and focus totally on driving.

"This summer, we're urging drivers to use common sense and avoid unnecessary distractions - one of the most common of which is cell-phone use," said the Turnpike's Manager of Customer Safety Joseph L. Rispoli. "Those who use hand-held devices while driving are four times as likely to get into serious crashes, injuring themselves or others. It's up to each and every driver to put down that phone and focus on the road."

About 89 percent of all Americans, or about 277 million people, have a cell phone, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association.

Turnpike safety workers will be on hand to provide relevant materials and talk to travelers about distracted driving. In addition, the events will offer other safety displays including the Turnpike's State Farm Safety Patrol vehicles and troopers from Pennsylvania State Police Troop T which exclusively patrols the Turnpike.

The Turnpike's authorized service providers will offer complimentary vehicle checks to examine safety items such as tire pressure, fluid levels and lights. Interested vehicle operators must obtain a coupon for the complimentary check inside the plaza at the safety tables.

Turnpike representatives will also help motorists sign up for E-ZPass and enroll in the Pennsylvania Turnpike's free "Preferred-Traveler" program where they can get breaking travel alerts via text message and e-mail. They also will promote the Turnpike's toll-free, real-time roadway and weather information service, 1.866.976.TRIP (8747).

The Allentown plaza is between the Lehigh Valley and Quakertown exits on I-476 (Northeastern Extension) and the Sideling Hill facility is between the Breezewood and Fort Littleton exits on I-76 (mainline Turnpike). The two travel plazas, which had been completely renovated and reopened in 2008, are accessible to traffic from both directions.

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