Home Traveling Safety

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is committed to making travel safer for our customers and empowering them to stay informed.

24/7 Assistance

Anyone with a cellular phone traveling the Turnpike can dial *11 (or 1-800-332-3880) to report crashes, incidents or phone for emergency assistance. Calls go directly to the PA Turnpike's Operations Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where PA Turnpike radio operators and State Police are on duty 24 hours a day, everyday. The Center dispatches appropriate emergency personnel to the scene. The *11 (and the 1-800-332-3880) number serves the entire PA Turnpike system.

Traveler dialing for emergency assistance

Active Travel Advisories

511PA Logo

Emergency Alerts and Travel Planning

We partner with 511PA to help keep travelers safe. 511PA is a statewide travel information service that helps reduce congestion and improve safety on Pennsylvania roadways. They provide reliable traffic, construction, weather, and transit information to travelers.

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Emergency Preparedness

While we work to make roadways safer, we empower PA Turnpike travelers to be informed and prepared in the case of an emergency while traveling.


We want the turnpike to be a safe place. If you happen to get in a crash:

  1. Under no circumstance should you exit your vehicle on the PA Turnpike when close to or in active lanes of traffic.
  2. Pull your car as far out of the active lanes of traffic as possible. If possible, move your vehicle to a wide area, service plaza, or off an exit.
  1. Call *11 on a cell phone to alert the PA Turnpike Operations Center to your location and need for assistance.
  2. Green mile markers are located every 1/10th mile on the shoulder of the turnpike. Pay attention to your location at all times so you can tell the dispatcher where you are.
  1. Exchange driver and vehicle insurance information if needed.
  2. Wait for the safety patrol to meet you.

Break Downs

It's important to follow proper procedure if your vehicle breaks down:

  1. If possible, move your vehicle off the roadway to a safe location, such as a wide area, service plaza, or off an exit. Do not attempt to hitchhike.
  2. Place a white handkerchief or any bright colored cloth on the radio antenna or vehicle door facing traffic. If you break down at night, turn on the headlights and hazard lights.
  3. If possible, dial *11 to reach the PA Turnpike's Operations Center and request assistance.
  1. Remain in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive. An authorized service provider will be dispatched immediately and will normally arrive within 45 minutes. PA Turnpike authorized service providers are available for your convenience 24 hours a day. However, if your disabled vehicle is not impeding traffic or otherwise creating a safety hazard, you have the option of using any provider of your choice. In any event, remember to make some arrangement for the removal of your vehicle.
  2. Unattended vehicles left along the roadway will be removed after 24 hours. Vehicles that are impeding traffic will be removed from the roadway immediately.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has more than 20 authorized service providers under contract to provide towing and emergency road service to motorists on the PA Turnpike 24 hours a day. View pricing information and learn more about these services.

Emergency Resources

While we work to make roadways safer, we empower PA Turnpike travelers to be informed and prepared in the case of an emergency while traveling. 

Radio operator at the PTC Traffic Operations Center

Traffic Engineering and Operations

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) maintains a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year Traffic Operations Center located in the Administration Building in Middletown. Serving as the hub of all PA Turnpike communications, the Traffic Operations Center continuously monitors PA Turnpike activities via an extensive radio system. Roadway conditions, construction status and weather conditions are all monitored at the Center. The Center also serves as the focal point for all PA Turnpike incident management activities.

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PA Turnpike Safety Patrol truck

GEICO Safety Patrol 

The GEICO Safety Patrol provides First Responder services to drivers on the PA Turnpike 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Safety Patrol:

  • Responds to crashes/incidents
  • Provides traffic control for scene stabilization
  • Delivers an initial maintenance response (debris clean up, spill control, etc.)
  • Communicates with the PA Turnpike Operations Center (and other responders) regarding the incident and resources needed to respond
  • Patrols the roadway
  • Renders customer assistance
PennDOT Yellow Dot program sticker

Yellow Dot Program

Placing a yellow dot in your vehicle's rear window ensures that you receive the critical medical attention you need if you are not able to communicate after an accident.

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Safe Driving Tips

Download our guide to customer safety for helpful safety information about maintenance and construction zones. Keep preparedness in mind for winter travel with our 10 Musts for Winter Driving.

Speed Limit

The maximum speed limit on most sections of the Pennsylvania Turnpike is 70 MPH. A map of the speed limits on the PA Turnpike is located here.

Please remember, while 70 MPH (or any posted speed limit) is the maximum speed; you should drive at lower speeds during adverse traffic, weather, or roadway conditions.

Wipers On = Headlights On

Pennsylvania state law requires headlight use whenever windshield wipers are on. This allows your fellow motorists to best see you during adverse conditions.

Drive Right, Pass Left

State law requires that you drive in the right hand lane, and use the left lane for passing only.

Once you have passed the vehicle in front of you, you should move back into the right lane for standard driving.

When a roadway has two or more lanes, vehicles must be driven in the right hand lanes when available except when any of the following conditions exist:

  • When passing a vehicle.
  • When traveling at a speed greater than the traffic flow.
  • When moving left to allow for merging traffic.
  • Commercial vehicles (over 10,000 lbs.) are not allowed to drive in the left lane when there are three or more lanes on the highway.

'Move Over' Law

The ‘Move Over’ law requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop or disabled vehicle. 

You must move over for emergency responders, as well as PA Turnpike maintenance vehicles and tow trucks when they are responding to an emergency.

Work Zone Safety

Safety measures taken by the PA Turnpike include lowered speed limits in work zones. The maximum speed limit in an active work zone is 55 MPH (40 MPH at Tunnel crossover locations). The Pennsylvania State Police enforces speed limits in PA Turnpike work zones.  If motorists are caught exceeding the speed limit in work zones, not only will fines be assessed, but points will also go against their driver’s license.

Motorists should be aware of all signage along the PA Turnpike, preparing them for work zones ahead of their travels. These signs include digital message boards along the roadway, as well as posted signs along the shoulder. These signs provide awareness to drivers approaching work zones, allowing them time to slow down as they approach these areas and see workers along the roadway. One way to support our roadway team is to Go Orange to keep our workers safe in these work zones. Follow the posted speed limits, keep your eyes up and your phone down.

Follow the Signs: Save Lives Today Click here to watch a short video about mobile work zone signs and how they protect drivers and workers.

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) is used on the PA Turnpike to reduce work zone speeds, change driver behavior, and improve work zone safety for workers and motorists. Cameras are located in various work zones to detect and record vehicles exceeding work zone posted speed limits by 11 miles per hour (mph) or more. This program was started in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP). For more information on the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit

Additional Resources


Visit 511PA for reliable traffic, construction, weather, and transit information to PA Turnpike travelers. 

Visit 511PA

Go Orange

Take the safe driving pledge and learn about work zone safety.

Take the Pledge


Learn how we're being proactive in researching travel safety. 

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Rules and Regulations

Review comprehensive safe traveling rules and regulations. 

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