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Old 11-21-2011, 01:47 PM
Howard Hartman Howard Hartman is offline
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Default GObble, GObble With 511



GObble, GObble With 511

New Travel Information Line for Thanksgiving Holiday Trips; SHA Prepares for Holiday Travel and Suspends Lane Closures for Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend

(November 21, 2011) – If you’re planning a trip for Gobble, Gobble Day in Maryland, know before you go with 511. Add more predictability to your date with turkey and pumpkin pie by calling 511 or accessing www.md511.org. Learn about major incidents, delays, estimated travel times and weather conditions before you step into your vehicle. As the most heavily travel days of the year approach, 511 is as essential to the Thanksgiving traveler as the turkey baster is to the Thanksgiving cook. Drivers can save time, fuel costs and the frustration that often breeds aggressive and unsafe driving.

While 511 is a new tool for travelers this year, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) also is continuing traditional measures to help make travel safer and less stressful for motorists. To further ease congestion, all non-emergency roadwork on SHA-maintained roadways will be suspended between Wednesday, November 23 at 9 a.m. and Monday morning, November 28. Emergency response units will patrol metropolitan interstates in search of stranded motorists to help them on their way and prevent delay for other motorists.

“Above all, our priority at the Maryland State Highway Administration is to keep travelers on the go and get them to their destinations safely,” said Acting SHA Administrator Darrell B. Mobley. “We’re asking for motorists to partner in making this holiday season a safe one by driving attentively and sober. Always buckle up and remember Maryland now has a new law banning hand-held mobile phone use and texting.”

SHA’s CHART (Coordinated Highways Action Response Team) program closely coordinates and shares information with motorists around the clock and assists tens of thousands of motorists each year. Operators located at the Statewide Operations Center (SOC) and several regional Traffic Operations Centers (TOCs) monitor traffic 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The SOC is located near the Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International (BWI) Airport and manages all CHART functions. Information, gathered from several sources within Maryland including the State Police, SHA and travelers using #77, is disseminated to travelers, media and other agencies.

More than 90 percent of all fatal traffic crashes are preventable, so be sure to keep the holidays a time for celebration with these helpful tips:
  • Drive focused – Maryland law prohibits hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving.
  • Buckle up! It’s the law in Maryland and your number one defense in a crash.
  • Move over to an adjacent travel lane away from emergency personnel - a new Maryland law requires it.
  • Travel during off peak hours and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
  • Check your vehicle’s lights, tires, battery and windshield wipers for proper operation.
  • Slow down and pay attention, avoiding distractions such as cell-phone use, changing CDs and eating. Observe all posted speed limits.
  • Never drink and drive! Designate a sober driver.
  • Drivers with cellular phones can call #77 or 911 to report suspected aggressive or drunk drivers.
  • In the unfortunate case you are involved in a minor crash, please safely move your vehicle from the travel lanes – it’s Maryland law.
  • The National Click it of Ticket campaign will be underway; police will be enforcing seat belt laws.
  • Place children in the proper child safety seat.

In inclement weather –
  • See and be seen. Maryland State Law requires the use of headlights while windshield wipers are in use.
  • Wet road surfaces are not ideal and require particularly attentive driving.
  • Slow down, increase your distance between the vehicle in front of you, avoid distractions and drive defensively.

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