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Push to remove emergency call boxes on Florida's Interstates

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Updated: 10/21/2013 7:44 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Emergency call boxes will soon be a thing of the past in Florida.

Drivers like Randy Schweikart aren't happy about this.

Schweikart says these boxes are a necessity to the roadways.

But the state has decided to remove all 352 of them to save $1 million a year.

Boxes on I-10 are already gone, and the ones along I-95 must be removed by November of next year.

"People that don't have cell phones, or you know how the coverage in the area is not good, they could have an emergency situation and no way for notification," said Schweikart.

But the state says there are a variety of ways to get help if needed.

They say Florida Highway Patrol and tow trucks will be patrolling the roads for drivers who need help.

But tow truck drivers like Mike Jarzomkowski say the boxes should stay.

"I think it was important to keep them," Jarzomkowski said. "I mean if there's people out there that need help they can't get help."

Transportation officials say the use of boxes has steadily declined over the years.

Schweikart believes if they're taken away, drivers will suffer.

"Saving somebody's life, how can you put a price on a life?" said Schweikart.
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SPVANDERWAHL - 10/21/2013 4:01 PM
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Do they want to save the $1 million dollars to give someone a big raise or bonus? The state of Florida is constantly cutting services but taxes keep increasing (real estate taxes/sales taxes). If the state is heading to insolvency perhaps someone might want to raise the idea of a state income tax. While I'm sure MANY people will complain about that the fact is there is no free lunch (well at least for most of us there isn't), if we want these services we are going to have to find a way to pay for them. In Duval County the revenue is derived from real estate taxes and sales taxes, people who don't own homes are not contributing and there are many people who get subsidies such as welfare which means they are not really contributing any of their money to the tax base but money that they received from the government in the first place which makes no sense. This is a sad vicious cycle and I for one am so sick of paying to take care of so many other people. Let everyone working contribute, that might not require the people getting aid to pay in but kicking them off of aid and forcing them to get some type of job might help.
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