New addition to Pa. Turnpike opens

WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. - November 22, 2010

With the snip of oversized scissors, a new shortcut for going over the river and through the woods that is if Grandmothers house is in Bensalem and you have EZ-Pass.

The new short stretch of concrete is an EZ-Pass only interchange, just east of the full size and sometimes congested Route 1 interchange.

The new addition connects the eastbound Turnpike with Street Road. It was originally designed to help with traffic headed to Parx Casino, but proponents say it should help everyone by reducing the stopped part of stop and go driving.

"When you think about it, it saves a lot of time, saves a lot of congestion, saves a lot of fuel, save a lot of pollution," Pennsylvania State Senator Tommy Tomlinson said.

The new slip ramps only serve eastbound off and on traffic, westbound drivers still have to navigate the Route 1 interchange.

Meanwhile, no matter what road you travel this holiday, police and PennDOT have a message: "Click it or ticket."

It is that time of year. Surprisingly, the most dangerous holiday is Thanksgiving, not New Years.

41 people were killed last year in Pennsylvania.

"Most of those highway fatalities were unbuckled and nearly half involved alcohol," Scott Fletcher of PennDOT said.

PennDOT channels federal money to pay police overtime. The police focus on primary offenses such as running a red light and going through stop signs.

Organizers of the Click it or Ticket effort argue it works. In the year 2000, when it started, 69% of Pennsylvania drivers used seatbelts, now that number is just shy of 88%.

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