Since October of 2005, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to support their efforts to protect children. During that time, the PTC has placed photos of 739 missing children in the service plazas along its 550-mile system in an effort to help locate these children. The photos also appear on the Turnpike website at http://www.paturnpike.com and travel boards at certain service plazas. Of those featured children, 490 have been recovered through this or other efforts.
This year, in honor of NCMEC’s 30th anniversary, the PTC is expanding their partnership with the organization by working to promote its “Take 25” campaign statewide. On May 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., five service plaza locations along the Turnpike will have representatives from NCMEC on hand to educate travelers about its “Take 25” pledge, which asks trusted adults to take 25 minutes to talk with children about safety.
“The Turnpike and the National Center have a similar goal: to provide a safe environment for children and families,” says Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “Events like this strongly support that goal.”
NCMEC representatives will be asking adults to participate in the “Take 25” pledge at the following Turnpike service plazas:
- South Somerset plaza in Somerset County located eastbound at mile marker 112
- Sideling Hill plaza in Fulton County which serves both eastbound and westbound travelers and is located at mile marker 172
- Bowmansville plaza in Lancaster County located eastbound at mile marker 290
- Lawn plaza in Lebanon/Lancaster counties located westbound at mile marker 259
- Allentown plaza in Lehigh County located on the Northeastern Extension at mile marker 55.
While representatives will be at these five plazas to answer questions, additional information will be available for free at every service plaza on the Turnpike for adults to learn more about the risks, ways to protect their children and the resources available to them. There will also be free, give-away items for children to keep them busy while traveling.
“The key to child safety is arming children with information that empowers them to make smarter and safer decisions, says John Ryan, NCMEC president and CEO. “We are grateful to the PTC for helping us reach so many families throughout Pennsylvania with this potentially lifesaving information.”
For more information about the “Take 25” campaign, NCMEC and National Missing Children’s Day on May 25, go to the “Take 25” website at www.Take25.org.
(Source: Pa. Turnpike)