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How to Use the 511 Traffic System

Date posted: 08/09/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in Safety & Driving

4411 How to Use the 511 Traffic System

Accessing road conditions or weather for your city or state is easy via the 511 traffic system. Depending on your targeted area you may have one, some, or all of the following access options:

  • By phone (cell or landline)
  • Website
  • Smartphone app

Accessing 511 Traffic Systems by Phone

The process is easy:

  • Dial 511.
  • The voice-activated system will then give you a list of options of choose from. Options vary by state and city, but in most instances you will be given the following services to choose from for specific roadways or areas: weather, amber alerts, traffic, road closures, road construction, locations of rest areas and Welcome Centers, public transportation information, and transfers to the 511 traffic systems for neighboring state. In most cases, this information is free. Some systems may charge for tourist information (attractions, lodging, dining).

Most systems recommend dialing only when not driving.

Accessing 511 Traffic System by Internet

The online version, if available for your area, furnishes real-time traffic reports. The site features a state road map (imagine an online version of a road atlas map) dotted with icons. Click on any icon for a report (traffic update, road construction, etc.) for that specific section of road.

Many 511 websites allow you to personalize the experience. After establishing an account, you may select specific icons of interest to you. Then, after logging in, using a username and password, you’ll automatically receive the latest weather conditions and traffic reports for the selected icons.

Accessing 511 Using a Smartphone App

A growing number of 511 traffic systems are offering 511 smartphone applications. Each system varies, but in most cases this app works on phones and tablets using the iPhone and Android platforms.

With this app you pre-select specific routes for current information on weather, traffic, road closures and more. In addition, you, in most cases, will have access to road cameras, if offered by your 511 system. These cameras provide live views of preselected road sections, allowing you to see current weather and traffic conditions – the ultimate up-to-the-second traffic report.

511 Access

This system, while still evolving, currently services the following states and metropolitan areas:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • ARTIMIS (Northern Kentucky – Cincinnati)
  • Colorado
  • Eastern Sierras, California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Inland Empire (Souther California)
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Los Angeles
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Sacramento – Northern California
  • St. Louis
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Has the 511 traffic system ever come in handy for you?

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