A new statewide travel information service that gives updates on winter
road and weather conditions, emergency closures and access to tourist
information was launched on Tuesday, Nov. 29, by the Idaho Transportation
By dialing 511 or visiting 511.idaho.gov, travelers will be updated as
conditions change on Idaho’s highways. The new system also includes more than
70 Web cameras located across the state. Idaho 511 will share 576 phone lines
with multiple states, minimizing the chance of callers getting a busy signal
during winter storms.
“A well-informed motorist travels smarter and travels safer,” said
Charles L. Winder, chairman of the Idaho Transportation Board, in a press
Within minutes of road and weather conditions being reported from
transportation department snowplows, the information will be updated on both
the Web site and telephone information.
“Timely information is critical to making the best travel choice,”
Winder added. “Idaho’s new 511 system will not only provide current road and
weather conditions, but is free and easy to use.”
Nineteen mountain passes are included on the program’s Web site. For
each pass, a live camera shot and a pass report keep travelers updated on road
and weather conditions, the current temperature and any restrictions. The Web
site also features links to neighboring states’ traveler information sites.
Calls to 511 are considered local when dialed from a land line phone.
Cell phone users are responsible for normal airtime and roaming charges in
accordance with their service contracts.
Idaho is the 24th state to provide the 511 service. 511 is part of a
national effort that began in 2000, when the Federal Communications Commission
assigned 511 for nationwide access to travel information. When traveling in a
state with 511 service, dialing the number will connect you to that state’s
The 511 system already is working in other states in the region,
including Washington, Oregon, Utah and Montana. Wyoming and Nevada are expected
to deploy 511 within the year.