As the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) for Merced County, MCAG manages a network of fourteen call boxes on Highway 152. The call boxes provide motorists in need with a 24-hour direct link to the California Highway Patrol. This program is a joint project of MCAG, Caltrans, and the California Highway Patrol.
MCAG will be conducting outreach to adjust the SAFE program to better fit the needs of Merced County drivers in the near future. Comments on potential changes to the program will be used to develop the “Merced County Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies Five-Year Plan” which will provide long-term policy for the program through 2024.
For more information regarding the call box program or comments on outreach, contact Blake Dunford.
History of SAFE
Merced County SAFE was established in 1996 for the purpose of establishing a emergency call box system on Highway 152, Highway 99, and Interstate 5. As technology advanced and cell phones became popular, the usage of the system declined. In 2016, the MCAG Governing Board chose to eliminate all but fourteen call boxes on Highway 152, west of Santa Nella. These call boxes have remained due to the intermittent cell service on Pacheco Pass.