May 23, 2018 News Release

PA Turnpike Urges Holiday Travel Safety Precautions

Almost 2.3 million motorists expected to travel the Turnpike over the holiday

HARRISBURG, PA (MAY 23, 2018) — Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer; for many, it means spending time with friends and loved ones. The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) reminds motorists that most holiday travelers will be in their cars. Planning and extra caution should be undertaken.

“We anticipate that almost 2.3 million vehicles will be on the PA Turnpike over the course of the four-day holiday period,” says Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Before you head out on your road trip, plan accordingly and be aware that extra cars mean more traffic and perhaps more accidents. Put your phone down. Slow down. Pay careful attention and take regular breaks.”

Friday afternoon and Monday evenings are expected to be the times when traffic will be at its peak. The traffic breakdown is as follows:

  • May 25 — 765,000 vehicles expected to travel;
  • May 26 — 540,000 vehicles expected to travel;
  • May 27 — 465,000 vehicles expected to travel; and
  • May 28 — 485,000 vehicles expected to travel.

To help accommodate heavier traffic, the Turnpike will suspend maintenance and construction work and have all available lanes open beginning 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 26 through 11 p.m. on Monday, May 28. Additional maintenance and safety personnel will be patrolling during the holiday weekend. To report an accident or other emergency on the PA Turnpike, dial *11 via mobile phone, please try to share your direction and milepost.

“You are never alone on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” says Lieutenant David Devitt of the Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, the troop in charge of Turnpike patrols. Troop T will also have extra patrols to assist customers, as well as to look for aggressive, distracted and impaired drivers. “These dangerous habits can, and do, result in crashes,” explains Devitt who also notes that more than 1,300 speeding citations were issued last year during the Memorial Day travel period as well as 57 seatbelt citations and four arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Motorists are also reminded to “Move Over” or “Steer Clear” when coming upon emergency vehicles including tow trucks stopped to help on the roadway. This is required by law to protect those stranded or working so close to traffic. If you cannot move over safely, you should slow down.

To learn more about PA Turnpike conditions or to contact us, use one of these resources:


  • Variable & Digital Message Signs — nearly 100 signs along the Turnpike
  • Highway Advisory Radio — 1640 AM (tune-in near interchanges)



For more safety information, click here:

Carl DeFebo, 717-831-7176
or Rosanne Placey, 717-831-7507