MDOT launches new ’511′ information service

JACKSON — Residents and travelers in Mississippi are now able to access weather-related road conditions, construction and other relevant travel information by dialing 511.

In announcing 511’s deployment, Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials said this service complements the agency’s existing traffic resources, MDOTtraffic.com and its mobile smartphone applications.

It is Mississippi’s first voice-recognition travel information service. MDOT customized the 511 service to meet the needs of the local traveling public, provide guidance to tourists visiting the state and as a resource to travelers during evacuations and other emergencies.

“Mississippi 511 offers travelers easy access to information valuable for both pre-trip planning and en route decision making,” said Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “Motorists can dial 511, find out about current road conditions along their route and determine whether conditions are suitable for continued travel or seek an alternate route.”

Mississippi 511 is a free, statewide service that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It uses an interactive voice response system with speech recognition as the primary interface with callers, allowing for hands free operation.

Mississippi 511 features “My Commute,” which offers callers personalized travel information for predefined routes. Callers simply create a user account at MDOTtraffic.com and then define their “My Commute” route.

Traveler information is available in the Mississippi 511 system for all Interstates, and select U.S. highways and state routes, including U.S. Highways 49, 49W, 49E, 61, 45, 45 ALT, 90, 98, 84, 82, 78 and State Routes 25, 6 and 302.

In utilizing 511, MDOTtraffic.com or MDOT’s mobile smartphone application, travelers can obtain route-specific information including: Incident/accident information; road construction and maintenance projects; road closures, road diversions and major delays; weather warnings and alerts; emergency alerts including evacuations and amber alerts; tourism information; public transportation; welcome centers and rest areas; and travel times.

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