Idaho Transportation Department

About 511/FAQ

 

ABOUT 511 and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In July 2000, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 511 as the national traveler information phone number. Idaho is the 24th state to provide the 511 service.

Travel Smart. Travel Safe.
511 is a public service of the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to help travelers access information about road conditions, traffic incidents, weather and tourism information via the phone, on the Web, or by smartphone app, 24 hours a day and seven day a week.

Cooperating agencies
511 is made possible through the cooperation of the Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, Idaho State Police, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Emergency Medical Services Bureau, the Ada County Highway District, the National Weather Service, and the Federal Highway Administration.

Disclaimer
•  Weather and road conditions change rapidly, and the information reported here should not be used as the only factor in determining whether to travel in a particular area. Motorists are cautioned to be alert to changing circumstances and adjust their driving accordingly.
•  The Idaho Transportation Department provides this information as a public service. Reports are based on the information available at the time of preparation and cannot be guaranteed as to accuracy or timeliness. Actual conditions may vary from those reported.
•  Transportation department field crews provide information to update the system. Additional information comes from the National Weather Service, Ada County Highway District, citizen reports, and the Road Weather Information System.

511 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is 511?
How does 511 work?
Can I call 511 from my cell phone?
Is there a charge for 511?
On which roads does Idaho's 511 provide information?
Can I get information about a specific road?
What is 511's relationship to 911?
How is 511 different from radio and TV news?
Is 511 available nationwide?
If I call 511 in other locations (states), will it be the same as in Idaho?

What is 511?
511 is Idaho's new, easy-to-remember traveler information service. 511 provides continual updates about weather-related road conditions, road work, commercial vehicle restrictions, road closures and other travel information via the phone, smartphone app, or Internet.

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How does 511 work?
On the phone, simply dial 511. You will be connected to a computerized voice recognition system. The system will offer voice response and/or touch-tone options to request road-specific information.

On the Web, find traveler information at 511.idaho.gov.

The smartphone app can be downloaded for free from Google play, or the Apple App Store. Just search for “Idaho 511.”

Information is available anytime - 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

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Can I call 511 from my cell phone?
Most wireless companies will connect to 511; however, there may be places where reception is poor, preventing access or hindering connection to 511.

In some cases along state borders, Idaho 511 may or may not work properly depending upon the cell tower connection for that specific call. Your call may go to the adjoining state’s 511 system. Should this occur, simply call 888-IDA-ROAD (888-432-7623) to access Idaho’s 511 system.

Drivers are encouraged to put safety first by asking a passenger to call 511, calling or logging onto 511.idaho.gov prior to departure, or placing the call at an appropriate stopping point along the way.

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Is there a charge for 511?
511 is a public service of the Idaho Transportation Department. Calls to 511 are considered local when dialed from landline phone.

Cell phone users are responsible for normal airtime and roaming charges, and data limits in accordance with their wireless service contracts. ITD encourages motorists to pull off the road and park in a safe area before using cell phones.

Pay phone users are responsible for the local call fee.

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On which roads does Idaho's 511 provide information?
511 is a statewide service and provides information on the interstates, U.S. routes and state highways. It does not include county roads or city streets, except in the Treasure Valley/Boise metro area, where some traffic information is provided in partnership with the Ada County Highway District, and with local highway districts in Canyon County.

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Can I get information about a specific road?
Yes. You may access weather-related driving conditions for specific roads.

On the phone, follow the prompts to access specific highway information.

On the Web or the smartphone app, click icons on the interactive map for detailed information.

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What is 511's relationship to 911?
911 is used to report emergencies and/or the need for police or medical attention. 511 is a traveler information number.

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How is 511 different from radio and TV news?
511 is another information source for travelers that complements radio and television broadcasts. It is coded for specific routes the caller is interested in; this kind of user-specific information is not given over broadcast media.

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Is 511 available nationwide?
While most states, highway corridors and cities already have 511 service, some states are still planning to implement 511. Click here to view a map showing the status of 511 nationwide. (Link to:
http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/511/)

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If I call 511 in other locations (states), will it be the same as in Idaho?
The intent is for all 511 systems to provide similar types of information; however, there may be some differences in format from one system to the next.

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