Wolf Administration Highlights Holiday Travel Safety

HARRISBURGH, Pa. – With the busy holiday travel period just around the corner, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) came together outside of PTC’s headquarters in Harrisburg to remind drivers of the importance of safe driving and consistent seat belt use.

(PennDOT Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Melissa Batula speaking to the press. With the busy holiday travel period just around the corner, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, Pennsylvania State Police, and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation came together outside of PTCs headquarters in Harrisburg to remind drivers of the importance of safe driving and consistent seat belt use. Photo courtesy of PAcast.)

The Pennsylvania Turnpike expects Thanksgiving to be the busiest travel holiday of the year with 3.15 million motorists traveling during the six-day period starting today and ending on Sunday. The periods of heaviest traffic will be 3:00 to 8:00 PM on Tuesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 24. Thanksgiving Day is when traffic will be at its lightest. Overall, holiday traffic is up 39 percent over the same travel period last year; however, traffic is still down 9 percent from 2019 holiday traffic volumes prior to the pandemic.

“With traffic returning to heavier volumes and travelers happily focused on holiday visiting, it’s critical to keep safety top of mind while driving to your destination,” said PA Turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. “In addition to these significantly higher traffic volumes, motorists are decidedly more distracted as they return to the roadway and will need to be more vigilant for traffic incidents. Be prepared for volume related slowdowns, disabled vehicles, and other roadway obstructions. Also, please remember to slow down and move over for vehicles on the shoulder such as law enforcement, turnpike first responders, and fire and EMS personnel. Give yourself plenty of extra time to arrive at your destination. Be patient and share the road with all who are travelling this holiday weekend.”

Operation Safe Holiday kicked off on November 15 with the “Click It or Ticket” Thanksgiving enforcement mobilization which runs through November 28. During the effort, PSP will offer nocost child passenger safety seat fitting clinics at several locations statewide, with the goal of keeping Pennsylvania’s youngest travelers safe on the road.

“This no-cost resource is designed to protect our youngest passengers during a busy time of the year for travel,” said Deputy Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police Lieutenant Colonel Scott Price. “Troopers are trained to look for a variety of traffic violations and will remain cognizant during the holiday periods. Travelers can do their part by remembering to slow down, move over, never drive impaired or distracted, and always buckle up.”

Pennsylvania law requires any occupant younger than 18 to buckle up when riding in a vehicle, as well as drivers and front-seat passengers. Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of four must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.


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