Pennsylvania Announces Updated Travel Restrictions
In response to current weather conditions and a full commercial vehicle ban on Interstate 78 and 80 in New Jersey, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) will be implementing restrictions on certain trucks and other vehicles and limiting speed limits, effective 6:00 AM December 2, 2019.
PennDOT is urging motorists to use caution and generally reduce speeds and be aware of changing weather conditions.
Restrictions will begin at 6:00 AM Monday and will remain in place as long as conditions are warranted. The restrictions reflect Level 1 and Level 2 of the commonwealth’s draft travel restriction framework, and will ban all double trailers (regardless of whether they are equipped with chains), empty trailers, non-commercial vehicles pulling trailers, recreational vehicles and motorcycles on these interstates:
- Interstate 81 north of the junction with Interstate 80 to the New York border.
- Interstates 84 and 380 in northeast Pennsylvania.
- Interstate 476, the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, north of the Pocono/Clark Summit exit for Interstate 80.
Additionally, in response to a full commercial vehicle ban that has been instituted on Interstates 78 and 80 in New Jersey, Level 1 and 2 restrictions are in place:
- Interstate 80 Eastbound from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey border.
- Interstate 78 Eastbound from Interstate 81 to the New Jersey border.
- US 22 from Interstate 78 to the New Jersey border in both directions.
- The entirety of State Route 33 in both directions.
Interstates 78 and 80 in the west bound direction will remain unrestricted unless conditions warrant implementation of restrictions.
As conditions warrant, speed limits will be restricted to 45 mph and commercial vehicles must move to the right lane. Additional speed restrictions on other interstates could be added depending on changing conditions.
Be prepared before you travel:
Motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com.
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.
All vehicles must be fully clear of ice and snow before winter travel. If snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of that vehicle could receive a $200 to $1,000 fine.
Drivers should also prepare their vehicles by having a trusted mechanic check the cooling system, battery, hoses, drive belts, tires, and wiper blades, as well as all fluid levels, lights, wiper blades and tires often for the correct level of air pressure and adequate tire-tread depth to perform on ice and snow. Everyone should also carry a vehicle emergency kit.
Above all be safe. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is asking residents to stay home if possible.
Photo courtesy PennDOT