511 service benefits travelers and commuters either via phone or web
Submitted by Harold Moldoff
(This is another in a series of public service columns. The following information has been provided by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.)
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation introduces a new service to help commuters and travelers access information regarding weather-related road conditions, construction and congestion, via the Web or phone 24/7.
• 511 is part of a national effort:
- The FCC designated 511 as the national traveler information phone number and NHDOT is one of a handful of state DOTs seeking to implement the service.
- The US Department of Transportation (USDOT), American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) and American Public Transportation Association (APTA) are leading deployment efforts and the development of guidelines for a seamless and comprehensive service nationwide.
Improving Public Service:
- New Hampshire Department of Transportation has been a trusted and reliable source of travel information through the NHDOT.com Web site.
- This new service provides enhanced service that is available directly to travelers via the Web or phone 24/7 - and include voice recognition, increased calling capacity and easier-to-navigate Web pages.
- By knowing state highway road conditions, travelers will be able to better plan for their trips and commutes and in the future, abbreviated dialing of 511 will make the information even easier to reach.
Where the Information Originates:
- The Condition Acquisition and Reporting System (CARS) will be the primary source of data for 511 services.
- New Hampshire Department of Transportation, State Police and other key staff both in-house and in the field use this system to maintain real-time information about travel conditions throughout the state.
- The system continues to evolve as one comprehensive and timely source of data that ultimately improves the information available through services like this Web site.
Where to Get the Information:
- New Hampshire has already installed the needed infrastructure to handle this new service so that you can call 511 from any phone, including mobile phones*.
- Visit www.511nh.com
Type of Information Available:
- Weather-related road conditions
- Traffic incidents
- Highway Construction
- New Hampshire is part of an 8-state consortium that is sharing the cost to design and develop the system.
- In addition to New Hampshire, the participating states are Alaska, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico and Vermont.
- The service is provided free of charge to the public. Cell phone users will pay for normal airtime and roaming charges according to their wireless service contracts.
- The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America): www.itsa.org/511.html
- US Department of Transportation (USDOT): www.its.dot.gov/511/511.htm
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO): www.transportation.org.
(*Most mobile phone carriers in New Hampshire have already activated the 511 service. If your carrier has not, or if you are calling from outside New Hampshire, dial toll-free 1-866-282-7579.)
BE AWARE OF FRAUDULENT ATTEMPTS TO STEAL MONEY FROM YOU. If you have questions or concerns on offers of solicitations, we encourage you to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at (603) 271-3641, or 1-888-468-4454 or Rye Police Department at (603)964-5522
Harold Moldoff is a volunteer Consumer Affairs Specialist with the Bureau of Consumer Protection and Antitrust, Concord, N.H. He is a resident of Rye Beach.
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