Turnpike Commission starts removing call boxes along PA Turnpike

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(WOLF) -- Call boxes along the Pennsylvania Turnpike will be no more by the end of the month.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is starting to remove the boxes today.

Turnpike officials say the boxes, which are located a one-mile intervals along the turnpike, have become obsolete as more people use their cell and smartphones.

Drivers can dial *11 on their mobile phones to report accidents or other emergencies.

“Over the last decade, we’ve been getting – maybe 10 years ago – we’ve been getting upwards of 500 or 600 calls a month, now this year, we’ve been getting 30 calls a month on those. So the $250,000 investment we make in maintaining those boxes year to year is just not proving worthwhile, especially since motorists can reach us in a number of different ways now and especially since we’re much more closely monitoring the roadway with closed-circuit cameras,” Carl DeFebo, Director of Public Relations and Marketing with the Turnpike Commission, said.

The removal process is expected to be completed by September 29.

During that process, any call box still in place will remain functional.

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