Tuesday, May 31, 2005

One Heck of a Big Nickel

One of the first things to notice after crossing the Mississpppi River from Missouri into Illinois is the system of Motorist Aid Call Boxes on the Interstates in Illinois. The call boxes are spaced about every mile or so and can be used to summon an ambulance, a tow truck, or a state trooper. I always thought they were a great idea and even used one many years ago on a hot Sunday afternoon in July before I had a cell phone. On the other hand, USA Today reports that each call at one of the boxes costs taxpayers $77.61. That's right, $77.61 per call, only slightly less than the cost to call Alpha Centauri in a galaxy far, far away! Oh well, it could be worse, image if there was also a Universal Access Charge and a Carrier Line Charge.

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