|September 1, 2016|
Millions of Vehicles Expected to Travel Pa. Turnpike Over Labor Day Weekend
Nearly 2.25 million vehicles are expected to be on the Pennsylvania Turnpike over the four-day Labor Day weekend. With that amount of traffic, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) wants to remind motorists to move over for emergency vehicles whenever possible. That means steering clear of any first responder vehicle with its lights activated in an emergency response area including maintenance vehicles, tow trucks, police, fire and/or ambulance vehicles.
“This Labor Day, we are urging travelers to heed the state law that requires motorists to move over or slow down when they see an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder,” says PTC Chief Executive Officer Mark Compton. “Emergency personnel are out there to keep us safe and help us when needed, so please give our responders and maintenance personnel the room they need to safely do their important work.”
The fine for not moving over or slowing down for an emergency response vehicle is $250 along with a possible 90-day license suspension if a driver causes bodily injury.
Compton says the PTC will have additional maintenance personnel on duty during the holiday weekend to patrol the road and assist motorists if they break down or have a problem. Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, the unit responsible for patrolling the Pennsylvania Turnpike, will also have additional patrols on duty for the holiday weekend to monitor the heavy traffic that is expected and to ensure safety.
“We need motorists to slow down, stay alert and avoid distractions,” states Captain Paul S. Gustaitis, Commanding Officer of Troop T. “Our patrols will also be on the look-out for aggressive drivers who speed, follow too closely and make unsafe lane changes – they will be cited.”
Traffic is expected to be the heaviest on Friday with 750,000 vehicles predicted to hit the roadway. The peak travel time that day will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Labor Day is also expected to be a heavy traffic day with peak travel time being from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
To prepare for this surge in travel, maintenance and construction activities will be suspended beginning Sept. 2 at 5 a.m. until Sept. 6 at 11 p.m. This will allow all travel lanes to be open to traffic except in the case of emergencies. Construction activity that does not impact travel lanes may continue behind concrete barriers in some areas, thereby reducing shoulder widths. However, at least two lanes in each direction will remain open except in the case of emergencies.
To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via mobile phone. To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:
ON THE PA TURNPIKE
· Variable & Digital Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
· Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)
· Turnpike Roadway Information Program (toll-free) — 866-976-TRIP (8747)
ON THE WEB
· TRIPTalk — free, travel-alert smartphone app; download at https://www.paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx
· Travel Conditions Map — live, inactive conditions map; view at https://www.paturnpike.com/webmap