Pennsylvania Considers Removing Call Boxes

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With the prevalence of cell phones, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is considering whether to remove the call boxes that line the highway. The Pittsburgh Tribune Live reported that 15 years ago, in 2000, the state’s call boxes were used 18,571 times, but in 2014, they were only used 1,206. “With the continued drop in the call box deployments and the new ways that we have to tell us about accidents, I think that’s made the timing right to reconsider this,” turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo said. (Pittsburgh Tribune Live) DeFobo explained that turnpike officials are examining the cell towers in the area and their coverage as they plan for potential changes. “The call boxes, historically, made sense on the turnpike,” DeFebo said. “People were paying a premium to use the turnpike, and this was a premium service that wasn’t available on all the roads.” (Pittsburgh Tribune Live) Now travelers usually dial *11 on their cell phones to reach the turnpike emergency hotline. However, if cell coverage isn’t adequate along the highways, the call boxes with either remain or towers will need to be constructed.

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