Skip Navigation

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Here’s what you should know

  • Ben Wasserstein/WITF

With turkey time coming soon, the Shapiro administration is promoting holiday travel safety.

The administration is calling the effort Operation Safe Holiday. It will kick off the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and last through the New Year holiday.

Part of the operation involves sobriety checkpoints, roving patrols, and regular traffic safety patrols across the state.

PennDOT said the 2022 holiday season saw 1,111 alcohol-related crashes leading to 41 fatalities.

PennDOT will also be emphasizing seat belt use throughout the Thanksgiving holiday.

Cheryl Moon-Sirianni, the agency’s executive deputy secretary, said enforcing these rules is more important, given the season.

“Safe driving is even more important this time of year when weather conditions can change very quickly,” she said.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is expecting around 3.3 million drivers on the turnpike this Thanksgiving.

Craig Shuey, chief operating officer, said it is crucial that drivers refrain from distractions.

“With this much extra traffic on the roadway, it’s really important that you’re focused,” Shuey said. “Every driver needs to pay attention to what they’re doing and resist distracted driving. Remember to keep plenty of space between you and the vehicles around you.”

While it is not yet winter, snow squalls remain a threat to drivers, said Central Pennsylvania National Weather Service Meteorologist Ashley Evans.

A squall occurs when snow and wind develop rapidly and cause blizzard-like conditions.

“The mayhem that can be produced in just those few moments of time can leave life-changing conditions downstream,” Evans said.

A March 2022 squall led to six deaths in Schuylkill County.

Drivers can check road conditions before they head out at


Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Politics & Policy

Anti-human trafficking advocates urge legislature to move massage business regulations