WUFT News

Call Boxes To Be Removed From Florida’s Interstates

By on October 9th, 2013

Florida is removing about 3,000 call boxes from its interstates because of inadequate technology and low usage.

Gina Busscher, Florida Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said most people don’t use call boxes anymore because of cellphones.

“Most everybody these days has that cellphone in their hand, so they are able to call if they break down or need police help,” Busscher said.

Last year, call boxes on I-75 were used about 3,300 times, she said, and the ones on I-4 were not used at all.

The state will remove the current mile markers that stand in place with the call boxes, and new mile markers will be installed by January 2014.

Travelers of I-75 have mixed emotions about the removal.

Tony Venturella, a visitor from Tennessee, said call boxes are helpful if a driver’s cellphone battery dies.

“If someone were to break down and be stranded on the road, that could be a lifeline that could save a life,” Venturella said.

Stan Kinnaman, a frequent traveler of I-75, said he thinks having voice communication is most important when traveling.

“If you’re in need of that (voice communication) and you’re in the middle of call boxes, you would be better off if you have a cellphone, using it,” Kinnaman said.

FDOT is not planning to create a new updated call system, but cameras have been installed to monitor the interstates and traffic sensory systems to foresee possible accidents and traffic disturbances.

Barbara Packer-Muti, another frequent I-75 traveler, said travelers no longer have a back-up security system and in a perfect world, they would have cellphones and call boxes available.

“I understand it, but I don’t think it’s enough of a reason to take them away,” she said.


This entry was posted in Florida. Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Florida

Supreme Court Decision Reopens Juvenile Sentences

Florida inmates serving life sentences for crimes they committed as juveniles should be resentenced under guidelines that went into effect last year, the Florida Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday.


Boy, 9, Dies In Ocala National Forest House Fire

A 9-year-old boy died after a fire broke out at his mobile home in the Ocala National Forest. Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.


Ferris strawberries straight from the farm are sold in clamshells at Ferris Groves in Floral City, Florida from mid-October to April. The store also offers syrups, sauces, jams and jellies, as well as samples of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Garrett J. Mastronardi / WUFT News

Ferris Farms Uses New, Successful System of Growing Strawberries

A Floral City strawberry farm finds success in the Strawberry Advisory System. The system, created by UF strawberry pathologist Natalia Peres, sends alerts to farmers when their crops are at risk for infection.


While swamps filled up early Thursday with gallons and gallons of rainwater, the flooding was largely contained in the Big Bend region compared to the deluge from Tropical Storm Debby in 2012.

Group Wants Probe of Whether Fla. Banned Climate-Change Talk

Former state employees claim supervisors forbade them from using the term “climate change.” A Florida environmental group is requesting an investigation.


A ribbon cutting took place at the ceremonial signing of development contracts between the city of New Port Richey, Florida and developers Yaakov Rosner and Abraham Rosner of Florida Motel Inc. on Feb. 10 at the Hacienda Hotel in New Port Richey, Florida. Pictured left to right is Mario Iezzoni, Chopper Davis, Bill Phillips, Judy DeBella Thomas, Yaakov Rosner, Abraham Rosner, Rob Marlowe, Debbie Manns, Madison Starkey, Jeff Starkey and Dylan Starkey. Photo courtesy of Gary Gann.

State Funds Used To Restore Historic Florida Hotel

Restoration efforts have begun on the historic Hacienda Hotel in New Port Richey, Florida. Once finished, the boutique hotel will feature 31 guest rooms, multiple banquet rooms and a possible restaurant.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments