ShareThis Page

Pennsylvania Turnpike to remove call boxes

Jeff Himler
| Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, 11:03 a.m.
Emergency call box on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Steph Anderson | Tribune-Review
Emergency call box on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Roadside call boxes that stranded motorists can use to summon help soon will be a thing of the past on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The turnpike will begin after the Labor Day weekend to decommission and remove the roughly 1,000 boxes that are located intermittently along the toll road.

Since the boxes were installed, cellphones, road cameras, safety service patrols and state police Troop T have provided other ways for the turnpike commission to keep alert to motorist safety, officials 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,” said turnpike Chief Operating Officer Craig Shuey. “More importantly, it is much safer for motorists to stay in their car and report any incidents from their own phone.”

To report an accident or other emergency on the turnpike, motorists can dial *11 on a mobile phone.

Toll-free numbers to call include 866-976-8747 for the turnpike's roadway information program and 800-331-3414 for the customer assistance center, available 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

A map showing travel conditions can be viewed at paturnpike.com/webmap and traffic advisories can be heard by tuning the car radio to 1640 AM near turnpike interchanges.

TRIPTalk, a free turnpike travel alert app for smartphones, can be downloaded at paturnpike.com/travel/trip_talk.aspx.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.