RIP Motorist Aid Callboxes

Hey, y’all! Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season!

Last night, Mary and I got back from our annual Christmas Florida roadtrip to see her family in Central Florida.

Last Friday, as we crossed into Florida on I-75, I noticed that something was missing… their ubiquitous motorist aid callboxes.

While their callboxes may be gone, Florida Governor Rick Scott assures the traveling public that after “500 years of history”, their great state is indeed “open for business”

Above photo taken at the Florida Welcome Center on I-75 by Mary Williams.

While at the welcome center, I also had a very close encounter with Florida’s wildlife…

Fortunately, I didn’t need a callbox to summon help.

Last night, I posted a question to the AARoads Facebook page to see if anyone knew when they disappeared. Thanks to AARoads’ own Alex Nitzman of Florida, I learned that the Florida DOT (FDOT) has been removing all Interstate callboxes and that the removals should be completed by the end of January, 2014.

Here is the article from Gainesville, Florida’s, WCJB-TV (ABC 30) that Alex shared.

For FDOT’s statewide callbox removal plan, please click here.

With the widespread use of cellphones over the last 15 years, it’s not surprising that the 40-year-old callboxes are being removed.

In Georgia, only I-185 from I-85 to the northern outskirts of Columbus has motorist aid callboxes such as this one I took a photo of back in 2006…

It’s been over 5 years since I’ve traveled down I-185, but last I checked, the boxes were still there. However, it’s probably just a matter of time before GDOT removes them, assuming that they are still there.

I’ve never had to use a callbox, but as a motorist, it’s been reassuring to see them along rural stretches of Interstate highway. With their impending demise, it’s definitely wise to have a cellphone (and a car charger) with you during your travels. Here in Georgia, you can dial 511 from your cellphone anywhere in Georgia to receive motorist aid or check traffic conditions.

Finally, we here at GRG HQ in Atlanta wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season as well as safe travels. Please “like” us on Facebook, follow our “tweets” on Twitter, as well as subscribing to our blogsite, and we thank you for your continued support.

RIP motorist aid callboxes and thank you for being there for the traveling public.

P.S. Please share the love with AARoads and “like” them as well. I highly recommend them.