Media & Public Relations

Contact: Renee Vid Colborn
Phone: 717-920-7507

June 27, 2013
Pa. Turnpike Prepares for Independence Day Holiday Traffic

Turnpike travelers are reminded to watch for aggressive drivers.
As more than 2.5 million vehicles will travel the Pennsylvania Turnpike over the July 4 holiday, the Turnpike is taking steps to get ready for the heavy traffic. Motorists hitting the highway for holiday activities and summer vacations are being asked to stay alert and be aware of aggressive drivers.

To prepare for the surge of traffic, Turnpike maintenance and construction crews will make all lanes in each direction available for traffic beginning at 3 p.m. on June 28 through 6 a.m. on July 8 except in the case of emergencies. In the event of emergency-lane closures, the Turnpike will activate its Variable Message Signs and Highway Advisory Radio to alert motorists.

“Additional maintenance personnel will be available throughout the holiday to patrol the road and help with any emergencies, debris removal or customer needs,” says Todd S. Garrison, director of maintenance.

With the anticipated heavy traffic, the Pennsylvania State Police reminds motorists that aggressive behavior on the highway is an unnecessary risk. “Tailgating, speeding and texting while driving all lead to problems on the roadways,” states Captain Gregory M. Bacher of Pennsylvania State Police Troop T (the unit in charge of Turnpike patrols). “Texting while driving and driving under the influence will not be tolerated, so motorists should expect to see our troopers out there enforcing the law.” 

To promote safe behavior during the Independence Day holiday, the Turnpike is sponsoring a "Safety Break" event at the newly opened South Midway Service Plaza located on the eastbound Turnpike just past the Bedford Exit (#146) in Bedford County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 28. "It can be a challenge to get motorists to change behavior when some don't even know they drive aggressively," says the Turnpike's Manager of Customer Safety Joseph L. Rispoli. "That’s why we like to be at various service plazas to help travelers and promote safe driving.”  

To report emergencies while traveling the Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone or deploy one of the call boxes on the shoulder. Be ready to provide your specific milepost location to the dispatcher when calling *11.

To better plan ahead for holiday trips, Turnpike motorists are encouraged to call the Turnpike Roadway Information line, 866-976-TRIP (8747) for real-time traffic alerts or visiting the Turnpike's live Travel Conditions Map online at The Turnpike’s smartphone app, TRIP Talk, streams audio advisories to iPhone and Droid users so they can keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. To download the free app, visit