The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is in the process of removing close to 1,000 emergency call boxes along the Turnpike, including those in Chester and Montgomery counties, writes Konstantine Fekos for Lancaster Online.
According to commission officials, the emergency call boxes have lost much of their usefulness as most motorists use their mobile phones.
The removal of the boxes along the shoulder of the 550-mile stretch of the Turnpike has already begun and is expected to be completed by Sept. 29. The remaining boxes will still function, but motorists are advised to dial *11 on a mobile phone to report an accident or other emergency on the Turnpike.
“The majority of the emergency calls we receive come in via mobile phone,” said Craig Shuey, the Turnpike’s chief operating officer.
He said that a decade ago, call boxes were used nearly 6,000 times a year. Now, it is less than 800. So far this year, just 400 calls were received from these once-essential boxes.
The Turnpike Commission also noted that they pose an increased safety risk for stranded motorists as it’s safer to stay in their car to make the call for help.
Read more about the Turnpike’s emergency call boxes at Lancaster Online by clicking here.