Plug may be pulled on Pennsylvania Turnpike call boxes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Lawmakers might pull the plug on emergency call boxes on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The state Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday will review a House bill that would allow the Turnpike Commission to eliminate the boxes, saving $200,000 annually.

Supporters of the measure say the devices are no longer needed because motorists use cellphones and signs encourage them to call (asterisk)11 for help. The number of calls from the boxes has dropped from 18,571 in 2000 to 1,717 in 2012.

The more than 1,000 boxes are funded with tolls.

The turnpike is studying if there are spots on the turnpike where cellphones do not work.

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