Kathy Liebler
                        Director of Public Information

C  O  M  M  I  S  S  I  O  N       N  E  W  S       R  E  L  E  A  S  E


Carl DeFebo—717-939-9551, ext. 2934
e-mail: cdefebo@paturnpike.com

May 24, 2000



HARRISBURG, PA — The highest priorities for Pennsylvania State Police patrolling the Turnpike this Memorial Day Weekend will be ticketing speeders, checking for seat belt and child safety restraint use and preventing road-rage episodes.

"We expect nearly 2 million vehicles will use the Turnpike this weekend," said Pennsylvania State Police (Troop T) Captain Richard A. Stein. "We want the word out that we are strongly enforcing the three major life-saving programs throughout the holiday period (from 12:01 a.m. Friday, May 26 through midnight, Monday, May 29). Additional Troop T officers will be on duty to help ensure the safety of Turnpike travelers and enforce traffic laws."

All maintenance activity and road construction work on the Turnpike will be modified between 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 25 through 6 a.m. Wednesday, May 31 allowing all lanes to be open to traffic (except for emergency situations). In the event of emergency lane restrictions, customers will be informed through the Turnpike’s Variable Message Sign and Highway Advisory Radio Systems. During the weekend, increased maintenance crews will respond to incidents such as customer assistance and roadway emergencies.

"As always, we will do everything in our power throughout the weekend to provide our customers a safe, convenient and comfortable journey on the historic Pennsylvania Turnpike," said Executive Director John T. Durbin. "We want them to have an enjoyable and fun-filled weekend, but especially we want them to have a safe weekend."

Director of Customer Safety Joseph P. McCool advised motorists to have their vehicles checked before leaving home. "Something as simple as a broken hose can wreak havoc and cause unnecessary delays," he said. McCool also urged motorists to take frequent breaks in order to prevent drift-off-the-road accidents.

Weary travelers can take a refreshing break at any of the Turnpike’s 22 multi-concept service plazas, open around the clock. In addition to the many goods and services offered at the service plazas, motorists are reminded that the Turnpike’s Farmers’ Markets will be open. The markets are located at the service plazas at Allentown (north and southbound on the Northeastern Extension), Valley Forge (eastbound only), Sideling Hill (east and westbound), and New Stanton (westbound). The markets feature fresh, in-season produce, along with homemade pastries, jellies and jams.

Over-dimensional vehicles (over 8-1/2 feet in width, 85 feet in length, 13-1/2 feet in height and 100,000 pounds gross weight) will not be allowed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike from sundown Thursday, May 25 to sunrise Wednesday, May 31.

Before departing for their destinations, travelers can call the Turnpike’s toll-free customer assistance line at 1-(800) 331-3414 for roadway, traffic and weather information. Motorists are also invited to browse the Turnpike’s home page at www.paturnpike.com for pertinent travel information.

Should motorists require assistance during their travels, emergency call boxes are located at one-mile intervals along the entire roadway. Cellular phone users can call for emergency aid by dialing *11.


 P.O. Box 67676, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7676         Phone: (717) 939-9551         Fax: (717) 986-9649