Turnpike begins removing emergency call boxes

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The bright yellow emergency call boxes placed along the Pennsylvania Turnpike are beginning to disappear.

More than 1,000 call boxes positioned at one-mile intervals will be removed beginning Monday. The boxes should be gone completely by Sept. 29, turnpike officials said.

The call boxes will remain functional during the three-week removal process.

Cell phones have made the boxes obsolete since they were installed in 1988. The turnpike says a decade ago, about 6,000 drivers used the boxes for emergencies each year, but the boxes were used less than 800 times last year and only about 400 times so far this year.

Maintenance costs about $250,000 a year, officials said.

The turnpike said it’s also safer for drivers to remain in their cars and use their cell phones to make an emergency call.

Drivers can dial *11 on a mobile phone to report an accident or other emergencies on the turnpike system.

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