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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 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

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

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