Motorway Emergency Phones

  Quickbeam 17:43 06 May 2013

Are they still necessary?

I didn't think anyone would travel without a mobile these days, but this morning I saw someone parked by, and using an emergency phone on the A1(M) Doncaster. I think that must be the first time in more than 15 years that I can recall one being used, you used to see them being used every day if you drove a lot.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:10 06 May 2013

Before the days of mobile phones. I broke down on the motorway on the way to our holiday destination, I used the EM phone as I managed to stop right next to one and the police were there in less than 10 minutes and the AA in 20.

  Quickbeam 18:39 06 May 2013

Not yet irrelevant then?

  Quickbeam 18:41 06 May 2013

...but the odd thing was it was fairly new Mercedes S class.

  Woolwell 18:51 06 May 2013

Two advantages of the emergency phones that I can think of:

  1. You don't have to worry about which number to dial. 999 may not be appropriate.

  2. You may be in a bad mobile signal area.

  Bing.alau 18:55 06 May 2013

I think the fact as stated by jock1e is the one that matters. For breakdowns it would be best to get to the roadside emergency phone and use that. The police and other emergency organisations have your location immediately.

But a mobile is also a must especially for a woman travelling alone. Also of course much better if it is rigged up correctly as a hands free for other types of emergency than a breakdown. (Let's hope we don't go the way of the 999 calls by getting the ambulance out because poor Willy is car sick etc.).

  interzone55 19:03 06 May 2013

My last breakdown service had a 0800 number, which is superb if you're ringing from home, but the price to ring 0800 numbers is still 50p a minute from most mobiles. If you don't have lots of credit on a PAYG handset ringing a 0800 number is a big no-no.

My current breakdown service also has a geographic number, which is included in the minutes allocation on all contracts, and many PAYG networks include a certain number of minutes to geographic numbers before you start using up credit.

It's about time these services realised 0800 numbers are not free from mobiles and they start switching to 0300 numbers which are free on most contracts

  morddwyd 07:08 07 May 2013

I've got an "Emergency Assist" button in the car which sends a signal to the manufacturer's assistance number (actually the AA).

Luckily never had to use it yet so don't know how good it is. Presumably it simply sends an automatic mobile phone message.

  interzone55 07:44 07 May 2013


It sends a text message in a similar way to automated intruder alarms, and the emergency pendants you can buy for elderly or infirm relatives.

The module will also have built in GPS to give your location, which is why paranoid types unplug these systems, as they feel they track your every move, and they can be remotely accessed to tell the "Man" where you are...

  Quickbeam 07:47 07 May 2013

"built in GPS to give your location, which is why paranoid types unplug these systems"

I can only think of serial killers that would think like that!

  wiz-king 09:55 07 May 2013

Quickbeam There have been problems with people jamming GPS location systems on firm's vans and cars to prevent 'the office' from spying on them but they don't realise that any GPS within a few hundred yards may be affected.

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