A vestige of a bygone era will be disappearing from along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission plans to begin taking down approximately 1,000 emergency call boxes that line the toll highway.
With the rise of mobile devices, safety patrols and traffic monitoring systems, the need for emergency call boxes for the 552 miles of Turnpike in the Keystone State has dwindled, officials from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said.
“Our review and analysis shows that use of those boxes has declined to the point that each box may only be used once a year, while maintenance of the call boxes costs $250,000 a year,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey said. “More importantly, it is much safer for motorists to stay in their car and report any incidents from their own phone.”
The boxes have been used for years to summon help along the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The relics of a time before nearly everyone had a mobile device do not actually handle voice calls, but rather offer “service,” “police,” “medical” and “accident” buttons that feed to a central dispatching center in Harrisburg.