Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, January 14, 2013

Motorists urged to check ITD's 511 system before traveling

The following is a new release issued by the Idaho Transportation Department. It's re-posted here for the safety of Boise-area motorists.

BOISE - A series of storms in Idaho this week is creating difficult driving conditions and has prompted several highway closures or warnings.

The Idaho Transportation Department encourages motorists to check highway and weather conditions before traveling on state highways or interstates. The 511 Traveler Services system, accessible by phone or the Internet, helps motorists prepare for changing conditions and plan accordingly, explains Tony Ernest, manager of the program.

www.511.idaho.gov:   The 511 website (511.idaho.gov) includes several options for accessing travel information, including a full-feature site for high bandwidth users, a streamlined version for slower Internet connections, a mobile version for tablets and smart cell phones and a site tailored to commercial truckers.

Advisories from the National Weather Service also are available on the full-feature website along with access to nearly 100 cameras statewide to view current conditions.

Dial 5-1-1 toll-free:   Motorists also can obtain route-specific information for the state highway system and interstates by dialing 5-1-1 toll-free from within Idaho. Because the 511 system is designed to improve highway safety, those who use the phone option are encouraged to call before getting behind the wheel, pull off the highway at a safe location or have a passenger place the call.

Recent improvements to the system enable users to pre-select highway routes of interest and receive information directly by e-mail, text messages, ITD’s Facebook page or Twitter.

“We’re trying to get critical roadway information to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible,” Ernest says. “We want to make it available in a format that is most useful.”

ITD’s 511 website and telephone system, among the most advanced in the nation, provide near real-time information and is updated as conditions change.

ITD and the Idaho State Police advise motorists to slow down and pay attention when driving in work zones, where increased speeding fines and other penalties apply. Motorists are encouraged to plan ahead and dial 5-1-1 or visit 511.idaho.gov for information on the state highway or interstate system.