PennDot launches 511 travelers info service

Just in time for the Labor Day weekend road rush, PennDot has launched a new information service to help drivers steer clear of highway hazards.

The 511 system allows motorists to call in and check on any highway construction, weather-related news or traffic accidents throughout the state. They can also access the system online at www.511pa.com.

The 511PA roadway network includes all 1,759 miles of interstate including the Pennsylvania Turnpike, as well as other major roadways in Harrisburg, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Commuters and other travelers also can sign up for personalized travel information that will send bulletins to them via email or text message about any back ups or other issues along their regularly traveled route. There also will be links to public transportation agencies and major airports. PennDot officials say they are working on developing a system to alert riders to bus and train delays.

Another feature gives speed limits on different sections of road so drivers can know ahead of time where they need to slow down. PennDot urges drivers not to call while driving, but to find a safe place to pull over and call.

When the service goes live on Sept. 4, Pennsylvania will join 35 states that already have established 511 services.

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