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Quit Texting, Warn Pennsylvania Turnpike Officials

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KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Turnpike is kicking off an awareness program designed to discourage the millions of drivers who use the toll road every year from texting while driving.

anti texting segall Quit Texting, Warn Pennsylvania Turnpike Officials

(Photo by KYW's Brad Segall)

Speaking in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania Turnpike CEO Joe Brimmeier (right) says it’s not your granddaddy’s turnpike anymore.  He says there are far more distractions out there now than there were when the road opened 70 years ago.

Anti-texting signs that say “Text-Free Turnpike” are now going up at toll plazas, rest stops, and on roadside message boards along the 500+ mile highway.

Brimmeier says texting is the worst distraction they’ve seen:

“One, you’re taking your eyes off the road.  Two, you’re taking your hands off the wheel to do it.  And three, obviously your mind is somewhere else when you should be focusing on driving.”

While it’s not illegal to text and drive in Pennsylvania, state police say they will cite you for reckless driving if they catch you.

Last year there were 120 crashes on the turnpike involving distracted driving.

Reported by KYW Newsradio Suburban Bureau Chief Brad Segall