Roadside call boxes being removed from Oahu roads due to low usage, rising costs

They used to number in the hundreds, dotted along Oahu’s roads just in case drivers needed to call for help.

But roadside call boxes are now pretty much a thing of the past.

The State Transportation Department says about 276 emergency-use phones have been removed from Oahu’s freeways and highways.

The phones were costing the state $314,000 a year.

With an average of just one call per day, that came out to $870 per call.

Many drivers now carry cell phones, but what about those who don’t?

“The advice I guess for people that don’t have a cell phone would be just to be aware and try and make sure your care is maintained and just have a plan so you would know what to do,” State Department of Transportation spokesperson Caroline Sluyter said.

The state says the only call boxes being kept are those inside the H-3 Freeway tunnel.

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