Kansas Department of Transportation "...to provide a statewide transportation system to meet the needs of Kansas."
    
 

511 Traveler Information - Background Overview of 511 (Phone)

511 Travelers Information

Kansas 511: The Statewide Advance Traveler Information System

On January 15, 2004, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) launched 511, a new statewide advanced traveler information service. By calling "511" on any phone, travelers can hear up-to-date, route-specific road conditions, construction detours and travel weather information for Interstate, US, or state highways in Kansas, and the Kansas Turnpike. Information is also provided for Nebraska (the only adjacent state with a 511 system). Phone numbers are provided for similar information in other surrounding states. 511 prompts callers to select the route and road segment they want by saying the route number or using their phone's keypad

Kansas 511 addresses some of America's greatest concerns about safe travel. According to recent research, motorists consider weather-related travel information most important followed by accident or road incident reports, construction updates, and major highway congestion.

In Kansas, the 511 number has replaced the toll-free statewide Road Condition Hotline (1-800-585-ROAD) that provided pre-recorded regional road/weather information. Now, anyone who calls the road condition Hotline will be rolled to the 511 system. KDOT has placed 511 signs along Interstate and other state highways to inform travelers about the new service.

Kansas' 511 initiative is part of a program to establish 511 as a nationwide Traveler Information Number. The 511 system is a partnership that includes, but is not limited to, KDOT, the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Turnpike authority, and the state's local telephone and cellular service providers. The Kansas 511 system can also be reached from anywhere in the U.S. or Puerto Rico by calling 1-866-511-KDOT(5368).

511 should not be confused with 911, the nationwide emergency response number. Any situation requiring police or highway patrol, fire department, ambulance, or other emergency services must still be reported to 911, which is operated by trained public safety dispatchers.

Information similar to that provided on the 511 phone number is also provided on the Internet at http://511.ksdot.org. This site provides a statewide map that shows road conditions, road closings due to weather, construction or other events, work zone activities, and more. The Web site should be helpful in assisting users with pre-trip planning and provides visuals not available on the phone.

A list of road closings and work zone activities on the Kansas state highway system is also available on mobile devices at http://511mm.ksdot.org. This site, along with the phone system, can assist travelers with obtaining updated information for en route travel decisions; however, for everyone's safety users should not access these resources while driving.

For further information about 511, contact Barb Blue, Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) Coordinator, Kansas Department of Transportation, Eisenhower State Office Building, 700 SW Harrison Street, Two-West, Topeka, KS 66603-3754, 785-291-3818, bblue@ksdot.org.