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FDOT to remove highway call boxes
For decades traveler assistance call boxes stood beside Florida's interstates.
But, in a few weeks, they'll be gone. They've been but negated by the Star FHP program, and their removal will save the state some cash.
"At one point in time over 460 motorist assistance call boxes dotted Interstate 10 from the Alabama state line to Jacksonville. Now there are none. The Florida Department of Transportation has removed them, in what they call a cost-saving measure."
At one point, the state had over 2,700 call boxes. By the end of January, only a few will remain
"I've never used one. I don't know anyone who's used one," said Kelvin Glenn.
"I don't know anyone. I haven't either," said Robert Cuthbertson.
"Well, I've never used them," said Rick Reedy.
Usage of the call boxes has declined dramatically over the last few years. The boxes were used over 22,000 times in 2004. That number has dropped 8 to 9 percent every year since, down to just over 7,800 calls last year. The DOT is expected to save a million dollars a year. Kelvin Glenn says the risk is so low it's better to keep that money.
"Well, I mean, the likelihood might be one person who needs on in a situation, but a million bucks for that situation? I don't think it's practical," Glenn said.
Drivers said cell phones have negated the need for the boxes.
"Seems like everybody's got a cell phone."
The FDOT says it will cost about $200,000 to remove all the call-boxes state wide.