The PA Turnpike Commission (PTC) reminds motorists that as the Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick-off for the summer season it is slated to be among the heaviest travel periods of the year.
“More travelers, especially families, will be on the go this upcoming weekend,” said Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “We anticipate about 2.3 million vehicles on our roadway from Friday through Monday. The busiest time for travel will be Friday afternoon and Monday evening.
“In addition to many more people traveling, drivers may be navigating in unfamiliar areas. Remember that a driver’s focus should always be on the road and everyone in the vehicle should be safely secured – that means adults, children, toddlers and babies.”
As of August, 2016, Pennsylvania law mandates that children under two-years-old be secured in a rear-facing car seat. Children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. A booster seat is required for children until their eighth birthday.
To help accommodate heavier holiday traffic, the Turnpike will suspend maintenance work and have all available lanes open in each direction beginning at 5 a.m. on May 26 through 11 p.m. on May 30. The traffic breakdown is as follows:
· May 26 --750,000 vehicles are expected to travel the system.
· May 27-- 550,000 are expected to travel the system.
· May 28 -- 475,000 are expected to travel the system.
· May 29 -- 525,000 are expected to travel the system.
“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. “We have patrols and safety teams throughout the system who are there to assure you get safely to your destination. That means responding to travelers in need of assistance, as well as taking action against illegal or unsafe behaviors.”
“Last Memorial Day weekend the Pennsylvania State Police investigated 69 crashes with seven injuries on the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” said Corporal Holly Reber-Billings. “Troop T also issued more than 1,000 speeding citations and arrested five individuals for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs that weekend. Speeding and driving while impaired are highly risky behaviors that can result in injury and death. It’s important to watch your speed, and if you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do not drive.”
In the event of an emergency on the Turnpike, dial *11 on your mobile phone and note your milepost location when calling. During the summer season the PA Turnpike will be conducting regular Safety Breaks at various service plazas. Breaks during the Memorial Day holiday weekend will occur between 11:00 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, May 26 at the North Somerset Service Plaza, westbound at milepost 112, and the South Somerset Service Plaza eastbound at milepost 112.
For more information on Turnpike safety click here https://www.paturnpike.com/pdfs/travel/2013_Safety_Brochure.pdf.
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