(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

(August 28, 2013) –The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) offers a free travel guide for navigating roadways this Labor Day holiday: 511.  Now’s the time to register for free traffic alerts and updates delivered directly by text and email, particularly if headed out for a farewell-to-summer road trip.  With sunny skies in the forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend and AAA Mid-Atlantic’s travel projections indicating an increase in travel, it’s safe to say tens of thousands of travelers are expected to hit the roads over the next several days. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration is reminding travelers to plan ahead and prepare for a safe and smooth holiday weekend. 

Learn about incidents, travel times and general road conditions by calling 511 or visiting md511.org.  If shore bound, simply call 511 and prompt “Reach the beach” to receive information about roads east of the Bay Bridge. Receive free emails and text messages with customized travel updates for your routes and times of travel.  Visit www.md511.org to sign up. And for the return to reality, use 511 to help usher you through daily commutes.  Maryland Transportation Authority offers Bay Bridge information through 1-877-Bay-Span hotline.           
In addition to 511, SHA is supporting travelers by increasing additional Emergency Traffic Patrols (ETP) along key interstate and other major routes and suspending all non-emergency roadwork on State roadways from Friday, August 30 through Monday, September 2.
“We’re asking Marylanders and visitors to our State to partner with us in keeping roadways safe this holiday weekend.  With more long-distance travelers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and bicyclists on the road, it is imperative that we look out for each other and share the road – lives are on the line,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Plan ahead, stay alert and avoid distractions while driving.”
Congestion is expected to begin early Friday afternoon, August 30 and continue through most of the day and Saturday along routes  including US 50 toward Ocean City, I-70 and I-68 west toward the mountains, and I-95 north toward Delaware. Saturday and Sunday travel over the Labor Day weekend is traditionally heavy, particularly along I-95, and delays should be expected most of the day on Monday, September 2, as travelers return home.         
SHA provides the following tips to keep travelers safe during the Labor Day holiday weekend:         
• Buckle up! It’s the law.          
• Make sure all passengers, even those in the back seat, are buckled up.         
• Never drink and drive!  If celebrating with alcohol, do so responsibly by planning ahead and designating a sober driver.        
• Travel during off peak hours and allow extra time for unexpected delays.         
• Slow down and pay attention, avoiding distractions such as cell-phone use.          
• Observe all posted speed limits.         
• In case of emergency along interstate routes, drivers with cellular phones can call #77 to reach the Maryland State Police.

• Move over to the next lane away from emergency response vehicles.

• Share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists.  Stop for pedestrians and pass bicyclists with at least three feet of space.

• See and be seen. If it rains, remember that Maryland State Law requires the use of headlights while windshield wipers are in use.

• Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.  Check belts, hoses and tires for any defects.  Fixing a small problem before hitting the road can help avoid a major problem on the road.            

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