HARRISBURG – PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E., encourages motorists to drive safely and obey the state’s traffic laws during the Memorial Day weekend.
“With Memorial Day marking the unofficial start of the summer travel season, I am asking everyone to celebrate responsibly and drive safely,” Biehler said. “Remember that traffic may be heavy during the holiday, so please allow extra time to reach your destination.”
According to PennDOT, there were 965 crashes, resulting in nine fatalities, during the 2008 Memorial Day holiday weekend.
“Let’s get the summer driving season off to a good start,” said State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski. “Make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled up before you start the engine. Once you’re on the road, drive at a safe speed and don’t tailgate. You need that cushion — that zone of safety — in order to react when traffic slows or stops in front of you.”
State and local police will be conducting various traffic safety enforcement activities, including Click It or Ticket. Any motorist stopped and cited for a traffic violation will receive a second ticket and second fine if they are not wearing a seat belt.
As part of Click It or Ticket, Pennsylvania State Police will be conducting free child safety seat checks to teach parents about the proper installation and use of child safety seats. For a list of the checkup locations, visit here.
In addition, each of the 15 regional state police troops will conduct a random sobriety checkpoint as part of its Checkpoint Strikeforce Initiative. The checkpoint locations are determined by commanders based on crash data.
Along with buckling up and avoiding impaired driving, PennDOT is reminding drivers to demonstrate caution if they encounter work zones during their trip. While PennDOT is making every effort to remove restrictions on interstates for the holiday, there will be some restrictions for long-term construction projects. To help plan your trip, PennDOT’s Highway Construction Map lists most major projects and is available online.
“For your safety and that of highway workers, slow down if you pass through a work zone and pay full attention to the road at all times,” Biehler said. “It is also important to merge with caution and use your four-way flashers if you are stopped or traveling slowly.”
PennDOT also offers the following tips for safe travel at any time of year:
• Take frequent breaks or rotate drivers during long trips.
• Carry a cell phone and charger in case of emergency.
• Carry extra water and non-perishable food.
• Remember, state law requires headlights to be turned on any time your wipers are in use due to rain or fog.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Following is a listing of interstate restrictions that may affect travel during the holiday weekend. Allow extra time when traveling and monitor traffic reports throughout your trip. Travelers can check for construction-related lane restrictions on the interstate system by clicking on the Travelers’ Information section at www.dot.state.pa.us.
• Exits 151-156, Fulton County: Left lane closed in both directions between Exit 151 (Crystal Springs) and Exit 156 (Town Hill).
• Mile Markers 145-148, Crawford County: Single lane restriction in both directions from mile marker 145, near Meadville/Conneaut Lake exit, to mile marker 148.
• Mile Markers 96-106, Clearfield County: Single lane restriction in both directions from mile marker 96, near DuBois/Brockway exit, to mile marker 106.
• Exit 241, Columbia County: Single lane restriction at exit. Also, Exits 241A (Lime Ridge) and 241B (Berwick) are closed. Detour is posted for traffic to Route 11 to use Exit 242 (Mifflinville).
• Exits 211-217, Susquehanna County: Single lane restriction in both directions between Exit 211 (Lenox) and Exit 217 (Harford).
• Exit 206, Susquehanna County: Single lane restriction in both directions at Exit 206 (Glenwood/Lenoxville).
• Exits 194-197, Lackawanna County: Single lane restriction in both directions between Exit 194 (Clarks Summit) and Exit 197 (Waverly).
• Exit 191A, Lackawanna County: Single lane restriction in both directions of the bridge at Exit 191A (Dickson City/Viewmont Mall). The southbound I-81 on-ramp accessible from Route 6 West is closed. Detour for I-81 southbound: Follow Route 6 under the bridge and through Chinchilla to Business Route 6 & 11 to the turnpike entrance in Clarks Summit to I-81 southbound.
• Exits 143-164, Luzerne County: Center lane restriction between Exit 143 (Hazleton) and Exit 164 (Nanticoke).
• Exits 20-26, Pike County: Rest areas located eastbound between Exit 20 (Greentown/Lake Wallenpaupack) and Exit 26 (Tafton/Promised Land State Park), and westbound between Exits 26 and 20 will be closed until the end of May. A welcome center located off Exit 53 (Matamoras) will remain open.
• Exits 23-31, Blair County: Single lane restriction between Exit 23 (Leamersville) and Exit 31 (Plank Road).
• Exits 23-26, Lycoming County: Lane restrictions in both directions from Exit 23 (Loyalsock Creek) to Exit 26 (Basin Street).
• Exits 27-29, Lycoming County: Lane restrictions in both directions on U.S. 220 and Interstate 180 from Exit 27 (Hepburn Street) to Arch Street, just before Exit 29. Also, Ramp A from U.S. 220 northbound to U.S. 15 northbound is closed, detour is to Maynard Street exit. Also, U.S. 15 southbound to Interstate 180 eastbound is restricted to one lane.
• Exits 11-15, Allegheny County: The westbound right lane and shoulder are closed from the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Exit 15) to the just west of the Penn Hills Interchange (Exit 11). Two inbound lanes remain open shifted to the left side of the roadway.