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Phone fault fouls up CHP call boxes

July 9, 2001

By MAYRAV SAAR The Orange County Register

IRVINE Getting a call means someone's in trouble. Getting no calls means the whole system's in trouble.

California Highway Patrol dispatchers realized early Saturday morning that no calls had come through from the county's network of 1,300 freeway call boxes. They sent officers to test the blue phones and found that the system was malfunctioning.

Officials aren't sure how long phones were down or how many people were affected before the problem was fixed by 10 a.m. Sunday.

The CHP dispatch center is to move to a new building in Irvine on July 22, and the call boxes were accidentally forwarded there prematurely, said communications supervisor Julie Showalter.

"The phone lines were working; they were just ringing in an empty office."

-- PHO (, July 09, 2001

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