511: America's Traveler Information Telephone Number

Topic 17632 | Page 1

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The Highlight Reel's Comment
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511 travel and road information

If you didn’t know about 511, you do now. Dialing “511” on your phone will get you access to real-time and up-to-date travel information for any state you’re in, including traffic delays and slowdowns, road closures, weather alerts, etc.

511: America's Traveler Information Telephone Number

Where this system comes in really handy is for those travelers with internet access, whether with a smartphone or computer. Most states we’ve looked at will have real-time graphic representations of traffic conditions, road construction, winter weather, etc., including any live traffic cameras in the area.

Some states like North Dakota, for example, also include load restriction maps, truck routing maps, etc., as part of the same section. The FCC leaves it up to the individual states to implement it however they choose, so the system is generally a little inconsistent with the kinds and amount of information provided, but still a great resource for both truck drivers and travelers in general.

In 2000, the FCC designated “511” as the only traffic number made available to states and jurisdictions, and most states have active 511 systems available, while the others are in the process of implementing theirs.


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Errol V.'s Comment
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About a month ago I tried 511 in Arkansas. They weren't in the system yet.

The Highlight Reel's Comment
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Arkansas seems to be one of the few states that aren't participating, and haven't accepted the funding to get in to the system. BUT, and thanks for pointing this out, they do have their own, similar, system set up:


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