511 Traffic Systems in Iowa

What is 511?

Iowa's 511 Travel Information phone service is a valuable resource for motorists concerned about road conditions due to poor weather or construction projects throughout the state. The service is a nationwide effort to simplify travel information services across the United States.

Getting Started

To begin, simply dial 511 and listen to the voice-activated menu system. For your convenience, information is organized into the following primary categories:

  • Road reports.
  • Metro reports.
  • Trucker's reports.
  • Nearby states' 511.

To learn more about how to use the 511 Travel Information service, visit the Iowa Department of Transportation website.

Using 511 Outside of Iowa

If you are outside the state and want to know about road conditions where you are, just dial 511. Check to see if you're in a covered area first.

If you're outside of Iowa and want to know about Iowa road conditions, dial (800) 288-1047. You may also use this toll-free number if your phone service provider does not participate in the 511 effort.

Responsible Cell Phone Usage

While the 511 Travel Information service can be quite useful, it's a good idea to avoid calling while driving. Research has shown that driving while talking on your cell phone poses a significant safety hazard. In fact, distracted drivers have nearly as many accidents as those who are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you need to use the 511 Travel Information service, it's best to stop at a rest area, fueling station, or restaurant to make your call. Avoid parking on the shoulder of an interstate highway; this is illegal except in emergency situations.

For more information on laws on cell phone usage while driving, see our Safety Laws in Iowa page.

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