ANNAPOLIS, Md – The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds motorists to plan ahead for Thanksgiving holiday travel. By traveling off-peak, drivers can minimize delays during one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Motorists are asked to protect themselves, their families and other travelers by placing safety at the top of their holiday menu.
The MDTA is also reminding travelers that all-electronic tolling is in place statewide in Maryland. Cash is no longer an accepted form of payment, as tolls are paid electronically via E-ZPass, Pay-By-Plate or Video Tolling. E-ZPass remains the most cost-effective way to travel toll roads in Maryland, saving drivers up to 77% versus the higher rates and additional paperwork that come with Video Tolls. Video Tolling occurs for any trips not paid with a valid E-ZPass or Pay-By-Plate at the time of travel. With Video Tolling, a Notice of Toll Due is generated and sent to the registered owner of the vehicle for standard Video Toll rates. With Pay-By-Plate, tolls are automatically billed to the driver’s registered credit card as they use Maryland toll facilities, with no need for a transponder or pre-paid toll deposit.
Enroll in E-ZPass or sign up for Pay-By-Plate today at DriveEzMD.com. We’ll Keep You Moving! If using a rental vehicle over the holiday, you can add the vehicle information temporarily to an E-ZPass or Pay-By-Plate account. Otherwise, be sure to alert the rental car company before traveling a route that includes a toll facility.
PLAN AHEAD TO AVOID PEAK TRAVEL
The MDTA recommends these travel times on the Bay Bridge to avoid the most congested periods:
-Tuesday, November 23, through Friday, November 26 – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m., and
-Monday, November 29 – before noon and after 9 p.m.
-Tuesday, November 23, and Wednesday, November 24 – before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m.;
-Thursday, November 25, through Sunday, November 28 – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.; and
-Monday, November 29 – before 5 a.m. and after 2 p.m.
Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the MDTA will implement two-way operations to help alleviate eastbound delays at the Bay Bridge. Motorists must pay attention and obey overhead lane use control signals. As a reminder, two-way operations are prohibited during bridge wind warnings/restrictions, fog or times of precipitation.
For I-95, the best times to travel include these off-peak hours:
-Tuesday, November 23 and Wednesday, November 24 – before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.;
-Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26 – before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m.; and
-Saturday, November 27 and Sunday, November 28 – before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
The I-95 travel plazas – the Chesapeake House in Cecil County at mile marker 97 and Maryland House in Harford County at mile marker 82 – are open 24/7 with indoor and outdoor seating available.
For real-time updates on major incidents on Maryland toll roads follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit baybridge.com. You also can sign up for traffic email/text alerts at https://bit.ly/2Dh9EZn, and follow the MDTA at facebook.com/TheMDTA.
PUT SAFETY ON YOUR HOLIDAY MENU
No matter where you travel for the holiday, please remember these safety tips on the road:
-Allow for extra time to get to your destination.
-Obey speed limits. Speeding gives you less time to react and increases the severity of a crash.
-Devote your full attention to driving and maintain a safe following distance. Food, phones or other things that can take your focus away from the road ahead can be distractions.
-Move over for emergency vehicles. State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle or tow truck with red, yellow or amber flashing lights. If you cannot safely move over, slow down to a safer speed.
-Make sure your vehicle is road ready. A breakdown can create a backup within seconds. If your vehicle breaks down, exit the roadway. If that isn’t possible, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance.
-Use caution while traveling in work zones.
The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target dangerous drivers, seat belt violations and criminal activity throughout the holiday travel period. To report aggressive or dangerous driving on Maryland toll roads, call MDTA Police Dispatch at 410-537-7911. DriveEzMD Customer Service Centers will be closed Thursday, November 25. Visit DriveEzMD.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 for 24/7 account maintenance or to make payments
The MDTA thanks all roadway users for their continued partnership with us to help keep travelers safe.
(Note: Image shows I-95 John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway 2 axle toll rates. Visit https://driveezmd.com/toll-rate-calculator/ for complete toll rates.)