511 Traffic Systems in Michigan

What Is 511?

Michigan residents are undoubtedly familiar with the 911 and 411 telephone services. But probably most don't know about the useful 511 traffic-information service being unrolled throughout the country, as it is not yet active in the state.

Let's take a look at this service, so that when it's ready to go in Michigan, you'll already be up-to-speed. Plus, you can use 511 while traveling through states that have activated it.


The U.S. Department of Transportation, with the approval of the Federal Communications Commission, developed the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) to increase traffic efficiency and safety on the nation's roadways.

The ITS gathers information about detours, accidents, road closures, poor weather conditions, and dangerous roadway surfaces.

511 Access

The service is mostly free, and the information you receive by calling 511 is much more detailed than you'd get from a local television or radio traffic report. Some areas offer additional services, such as allowing you to check airport conditions.

Motorists can test out the service when traveling through states that deploy it. After dialing 511, just follow the voice instructions to access the information you're seeking.

Some states also have websites which allow you to review the information online.

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