Who do you call??


Redneck Tech Girl
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
I had a situation a couple days ago and I'm not sure what would have been the best call to make, so I just did what I could.

I was driving into work, and the route I take involves a few turns. I was behind a car waiting to turn left from a dirt road to a fairly well traveled road, and watched as they acted like they were going to turn right, then went straight - they drove almost off the side of the road then went across.

I thought maybe they were just lost, maybe didn't have enough coffee or something, until I got up to the intersection - and there was an entire box of screws scattered in the road - looked like 2" ones, hundreds of them - the lovely sharp ones that will puncture a tire. Most of them were concentrated in the closest lane of the main road (so the north bound lane, I was westbound, turning to get on southbound).

Its on a hill, and it's not the most fun intersection to navigate, and not one you would want to say, pull over and put hazards on to get people to avoid it, because you'd just get rearended and cause a wreck.

So, I did the first thing in my head - called 911, apologized that it was not an emergency, but it could potentially turn into one, and gave the description of what was there, and exact location. The call was maybe two minutes long. The 911 lady told me they would notify road commission to go there and clean it up.

What would have been the best to call - this is in the middle of BFE, the closest "town" is about 5-10 miles away. Not much out there other than trees, the nearest house to the area is about a mile. I just didn't want someone to come flying over the hill and then blow out all four tires and wreck - but then, I needed to get to work. I don't like it when folks call 911 for stupid things, but I couldn't for my life figure out who to call for a non-emergency.



10 Years
Sep 13, 2009
Near Ottawa Ontario Canada
Here in Ontario Canada, we have the OPP "Ontario Provicial Police" So instead of dialing 911 we can call *opp on our cell phones, and it will conect you to the nearest opp station. I wonder if you call your local police department, if they can tell you if your state has anything like this. We have 3 kinds of cops here, City cops, in the major cities. RCMP they do bigger investigations. Then last but not least we have the OPP they do very small towns/ all highway patrols. So if your state has many differnent ones, you may have to call around to get the right police station. Who will give you the right info. Is there a police unit that does highway patrols? I would think the have a similer system.
I hope someone else chimes in for you


Polish Silkies d'Uccles O my!
9 Years
Mar 29, 2010
You absolutely did the right thing. I am a 911 dispatcher and we need to know these things. Yes, some dispatchers may blow you off, but they really should be concerned. Those could potentially cause a huge accident if someones tire blows at high speed.

Here in my county, depending on the road, I may transfer you to the State Police for them to handle. If it is in the city or one of the townships, we call the road crew for that area, but the interstate, the State Police go and check it out. If it is too much for them to clean up quickly and safely, they will call PennDOT and have them clean it up.

While, 911 dispatchers get upset when people call 911 for stupid things, it is mostly the "frequent fliers" that upset us most. One thing I would ask you to do is, find out the non-emergency number for your 911 center and program that into your cell phone incase something like that would happen again. Some 911 centers (like my county) only have a certain number of 911 lines (we have 8 and while that may seem like a lot, 4 are for landlines and 4 are for cell phones, and with everyone getting rid of home phones, they tend to get used up pretty fast.) But please, don't ever be afraid to call 911, even if you think it is dumb, the dispatchers understand.


9 Years
Jul 14, 2010
Honestly? No on. Unless it was a dangerous location, that is. Why? Well, because I'd have gotten out and picked up the screws myself. That's because I grew up out in the boonies and if we'd called the police or highway department or anyone over a box of screws or nails in the road you'd have heard them laugh 2000 miles away. People dealt with that kind of thing themselves.

I've stopped and pulled so much stuff out of the road that I don't even recall most of it -- from boxes to furniture to tvs to dead deer and a dead goat. I've pulled limbs and branches and 2x4s and trash cans out of the way. I know there has been an ice chest or two along the years, too.

By the time someone got there to deal with this stuff, someone could have hit it and died, especially at night.

Heck, I've pulled some mighty big snapping turtles out of the road, too (plus a few hundred smaller turtles...) When I lived in that area, I kept a snow shovel and gloves in the back of the car for moving snappers.

Editing to clarify: Again, safety would have been first. If I couldn't have safely removed the hazard myself then I would have called the county highway department (or local equivalent) and let them direct the call wherever it was appropriate. 911 is far too busy here for me to call them over this type of thing.
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9 Years
Sep 24, 2010
Kiowa, Colorado
Sounds like you could have gotten hurt trying to pick up all those screws, by a car coming over the rise. You did the right thing. My wife used to make me pull dead dogs off the road, unless they were already squished.

I would have called Ghost Busters.


Redneck Tech Girl
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
It would have not been safe. Someone woud have had to block the northbound lane, and then because of the blind hill, safely conduct traffic control for southbound, so each side could get over the hill safely on the southbound lane.

Secondly, I'm still medically disabled due to complications from a invasive knee reconstruction, so playing in the road would be a very, very bad thing
Navigating a parking lot is still difficult for me, let alone in traffic.

If it was a flat road and I could get around well, then sure, I'd pull out my giant scraper and brush, sweep them off, and be giddy about having a whole box of new screws!

There is no city or township police there, and the county police is.....small. The police I see ate usually the state police...and I dont even know if I can call road commission directly.

I've tried to find the county dispatch number there, with no luck. I use that number up here at my cabin (different county) to go after tresspassers or for vandalism. The state police post responds, and they usually have nothing to do LOL. They are good people, maybe ill call them to get a number for my home county.

Road commission did get out there - the next day the screws were gone, and they had even brought the road washer thingy they use in the city to wash the intersection. Cleanest section of the road for miles!


10 Years
Apr 5, 2009
Knowlton, NJ (Warren County)
I'd rather get a call for nails in the roadway than because a child refuses to get out of bed for school. The parent wasn't amused when I told her to get her biggest soup pot, fill it with cold water and douse Junior with it. I thought it would be rather effective.

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