- Location: Washington DC
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Everyone knows what 411 and 911 are. Add 511 to your short list. 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 almost everything that can impair the ability of motorists to arrive at their destination safely and smoothly, such as detours, accidents, road closures, poor weather conditions, and dangerous roadway surfaces.
The master plan was to have a national system in which individuals throughout the country could simply dial 511 on their cell or landline phones and access this information.
However, like many plans, this one has been slow to unfold, and much of the country, including D.C., is still waiting to have the service activated in their area.
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.
You can try out the service while 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.Other Topics in This Section
- Traffic Alerts
- 511 Traffic Systems
- Tire Recalls
- Safety Laws
- How Emotions Affect Driving
- Driving in Hazardous Conditions
- Teen Drivers: A Beginner's Guide
- Seniors: When To Turn Over The Car Keys
- Packing Your First-Aid Kit
- Seven Senior Safety Suggestions
- Wildlife on the Road
- When to Call Wildlife Rescue
- Taking A Mature Driver Course
- Medications & Driving
- Night Driving
- Hallucinations on the Road
- How To Drive Distraction Free
- Treating Motion Sickness
- Road Rage: How To Deal With It