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

August 29, 2000



HARRISBURG, PA. — Officials at the Pennsylvania Turnpike expect that more than 1.7 million vehicles will travel on the toll road throughout the upcoming Labor Day weekend, the last major summer holiday. For that reason, the Turnpike will take several precautions to help ensure the safety of its customers.

For the benefit of holiday travelers, construction and maintenance activities will be modified allowing all lanes to be open to traffic across the entire Turnpike. Work restrictions start Thursday, Aug. 31 at 3:30 p.m. and will be effective through Wednesday, Sept. 6 at 6 a.m.

"Additional state troopers will patrol the highway throughout the weekend, strictly enforcing all traffic regulations," said Captain Richard A. Stein, Pennsylvania State Police Troop T. "Troopers will look for drunk and aggressive drivers, speeders and watch for the proper usage of seat belts and child safety restraints. We cannot emphasize too strongly the importance and necessity of seat belt usage."

Maintenance crews and safety patrols will also monitor the 514-mile highway, ready to assist stranded motorists.

The Turnpike’s Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) — Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) transmitters and Variable Message Signs (VMS) — will be operational to alert Turnpike travelers of potential delays, advise them of alternate routes and warn those exiting the Turnpike of problems on connecting highways. Travelers can obtain information over the HARs by tuning car radios to 1640 AM.

Director of Marketing Bill Capone — pointing to increased nationwide occurrences of drowsy driving — encouraged motorists to take advantage of the Turnpike’s 22 multi-concept service plazas that are open 24-hours a day. "Taking breaks during your travels could prevent serious accidents and injury," he said. "A cup of coffee and a snack — or the simple act of stretching your legs at the rest stop — helps to revive motorists on the verge of falling asleep at the wheel."

Travelers who need assistance should use emergency call boxes located at one-mile intervals along the entire roadway. For emergency purposes, motorists with cell phones can reach the Turnpike’s operations center by dialing *11.

Permitted over-dimensional vehicles (over 10 feet in width, 85 feet in length, 13-1/2 feet in height, and 100,000 pounds) will not be allowed on the Turnpike from sundown Thursday, Aug. 31 to sunrise Wednesday, Sept. 6.

"Due to the increased volume of traffic traveling the Turnpike this holiday weekend, we ask that drivers use extra caution," concluded Turnpike Executive Director John T. Durbin. "Please help us make this a safe and enjoyable end-of-the-summer celebration."


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