Using 511 From Your Cell Phone

By: Staff Writer August 9, 2012
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You may access the 511 traffic system using your phone (cell or landline) if you reside or are traveling in any of the following cities are states:

  • 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

How to Use 511 Traffic Systems via Your Cell Phone

The process is easy. Dial 511 to access the voice-activated system. You'll then be prompted on how to locate all or some of the following information:

  • The latest traffic report for your chosen route. This traffic update features up-t0-the-minute reporting, including accidents and estimated time travels.
  • Road closures due to accidents, weather, or construction.
  • Road conditions, which is especially handy during the winter driving season.
  • Weather reports.
  • Amber alerts.
  • Road construction updates. This includes road closures and expected delays. With this information you can plot alternative routes in advance.
  • Information on public transportation, including buses, trains, subways and airports.
  • 511 traffic system access for neighboring states; a feature that's especially important for long-distance travelers.

In most instances, this information is free. Some systems may charge for tourist information (attractions, parking...), and depending on your phone service provider, you may incur roaming fees. If you have any roaming-charge concerns, check your phone service provider's coverage map before using the 511 traffic system on your cell phone. Or, play it safe and access your respective 511's website. It features all the same services, including live road cameras.

Also, be aware that many states now have laws against cell phone use while driving. If you're unsure of the local cell phone law, pull off the road before dialing 511. Even though some states may not have statewide bans, many municipalities have laws against their use while behind the wheel.

Have you ever used the 511 traffic system from your cell phone?

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