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Drive with reason this season

By Eddie Castoria

Executive director, San Diego SAFE Call Box Program

The holidays are among the most popular times for Americans to travel, and while most attention is focused on the nation’s airports during this peak travel season, travel forecasts show an overall increase in the number of people traveling by automobile. With that, you should prepare and consider the risk of running into unexpected car trouble as you drive on San Diego County freeways and highways.

Don’t let a breakdown or flat tire spoil your holiday spirit, take a minute to learn about the SAFE 5-1-1 Mobile Call Box Program. You can now call 5-1-1 on your cell phone as an option to obtain nonemergency roadside assistance and help you or your loved ones stay safe.

Motorists can place a toll-free call to 5-1-1 on their cell phone for nonemergency roadside assistance while remaining in the safety of their vehicle. Incoming calls are connected to the same live answering center accessed through the stationary yellow roadside call boxes.

Whether you are in need of a tow truck, tire change, gasoline or any other type of non-emergency roadside assistance such as reporting a hazardous object, operators will connect you to the appropriate help, including transfers to California Highway Patrol, AAA, Manufacturer Help Line or other sources of assistance.

The program operates in conjunction with the San Diego Association of Governments’ (SANDAG) 5-1-1 Advanced Traveler Information System. Therefore, in addition to getting roadside assistance, busy travelers can also dial 5-1-1 for information about traffic conditions, incidents, driving times and public transit.

Stay safe with 5-1-1. Remember to allow for extra travel time and make sure your vehicle is in good condition before you head out on the road this holiday season.

Visit www.sdcallbox.org and www.511sd.com.