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PA summer travel: 511PA Enhanced for Memorial Day; plan ahead for safe travel

(Harrisburg, PA) – With Memorial Day weekend and unofficial start of summer travel, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and Highway Safety Network (HSN) are urging motorists to drive safe. The agencies are working with municipal police departments and other safety partners across the commonwealth to participate in the National “Click It or Ticket” (CIOT) Enforcement Mobilization through June 5.

In 2021, there were 12,672 crashes in Pennsylvania where at least one occupant was not wearing a seat belt, resulting in 378 fatalities. In 2020, it is estimated that 94% of unbelted occupants, or 305 people, were killed in crashes while traveling in passenger vehicles, including cars, small trucks, vans, and SUVs, could have survived if they had been buckled up.

PSP data from 2021 indicated during the four-day Memorial Day weekend, troopers investigated 844 crashes that resulted in eight fatalities and 183 injuries. State Police also cited 1,025 individuals for not wearing seat belts and issued 144 tickets for not securing children in safety seats.

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 2 must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and children under the age of 4 must be restrained in an approved child safety seat. Children must ride in a booster seat until their eighth birthday.

In addition to adopting a zero-tolerance approach toward violators, troopers certified as child passenger safety technicians will offer car seat fittings and inspections throughout Pennsylvania, helping ensure that car seats are in good working condition, installed properly, and free from recalls.

A complete list of child passenger seat fitting stations is available at psp.pa.gov.

PennDOT encourages motorists to visit 511PA’s Historic Holiday Traffic page to plan optimal travel times on major roadways across the state this Memorial Day weekend. The holiday travel tool allows the public to see how traffic speeds on the Friday before and on Memorial Day in 2019 and 2021 compare to traffic conditions during a typical, non-holiday week. Users can choose their region and view an hour-by-hour, color-coded representation of traffic speeds to help determine the best times to travel during the holiday.

While PennDOT will remove lane restrictions and suspend construction projects wherever possible, the Historic Holiday Traffic page also allows the public to view interstate restrictions that will be in place during the holiday travel period.

The public can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles in Pennsylvania by visiting www.511PA.com. The service, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For more information on seat belt safety visit, www.PennDOT.pa.gov/Safety.