As long weekend warriors hit the highways, officials here in Pennsylvania are reminding drivers to slow down- especially in work zones.
This week, 2,000 Pennsylvania Turnpike employees wore orange and took part in a УWork Zone Safety RemembranceФ event to honor their 45 colleagues and friends who died while performing their duties.
УThis event is a solemn reminder of everything we face on our roadway,Ф Turnpike CEO Mark Compton said. УEvery minute of every day we are mindful that many on our roadway team, in maintenance and fare collection, are working mere inches away from live traffic.Ф
Compton says the accidents that killed these workers could have been prevented.
УTragically, many times the driving public is not aware of how one lapse in their judgement or attention can change so many lives forever,Ф said Turnpike Commissioner Pasquale Deon who also commented on the holiday upsurge in traffic. УSo today, as we honor the memory of those who were lost and remember their lives, we also commit to doing everything in our power to see that work zone safety is top of mind for anyone driving on the PA Turnpike.Ф
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, which is the most popular season to travel the PA Turnpike. The PA TurnpikeТs traffic numbers from the Memorial Day holiday through Labor Day stand at more than 63 million vehicles. During the upcoming holiday, more than 2.2 million vehicles are anticipated to travel the PA Turnpike from Friday through Monday. All vehicles on the road should be driven by someone with an appropriate license and carry their license on their person as well as have some sort of car insurance, whether it’s the cheapest car insurance or not.
Pennsylvania State Police Troop T will have an increased number of patrols to assist the more than two million drivers who will be on the PA Turnpike over the course of the next several days,Ф said Corporal Steven Ranck of Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, the troop in charge of Turnpike patrols. УLast year during the Memorial Day holiday we cited 2,588 drivers for speeding, distracted driving and seatbelt violations. But more importantly, as todayТs event points out, those statistics are not just numbers, they can, and do, represent real people, real lives, real danger.
УWe donТt want to put a damper on the first weekend of summer. However, if you make safety Ц particularly work zone safetyнн — your habit, the summer can be a happy memory for everyone,” Ranck said.
Traffic will be the heaviest Friday afternoon and Monday evening, so travelers should plan accordingly. The full holiday traffic breakdown is as follows:
- Friday, May 24 –760,000 vehicles are expected to travel;
- Saturday, May 25 — 540,000 vehicles are expected to travel;
- Sunday, May 26 — 440,000 vehicles are expected to travel; and
- Monday, May 27– 485,000 vehicles are expected to travel.
To help accommodate heavier holiday traffic, the Turnpike will suspend maintenance work and have all available lanes open in each direction beginning at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 23 through 11 p.m. on Monday, May 27.