CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Department of Transportation will be giving West Virginia State Fair goers in Fairlea a chance to learn about the new 511 Traveler Information System. Representatives with the DOT and the West Virginia Division of Highways will host a booth at the state from August 10-18.
The system is set to launch in fall 2012 to provide traffic updates on the state’s busiest highways. 511 will provide free, real-time updates on traffic conditions, construction delays and other incidents affecting travel. The service will be available by calling 511 from any landline or cell phone, by visiting www.WV511.org or by downloading the free “Drive Safe” 511 iPhone or Android mobile application.
“The West Virginia 511 service will provide motorists with important traffic updates to save drivers time and fuel, reduce stress and enhance safety,” said Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox, Jr. “The key is to know before you go, so drivers should call 511 or check roadway conditions online before they start driving.”
The website will feature the same detailed traffic and travel information as the 511 phone call in addition to camera views and links to travel partners such as the WV Division of Tourism, airports, transit services and neighboring states’ 511 systems. Website visitors can also find instructions to follow WV511 on Twitter or to download WVDOT’s hands-free, eyes-free “Drive Safe” 511 mobile app providing audible recordings of incidents within miles of their location.
The 511 data will be collected through WVDOT’s Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) that currently monitors and collects roadway data. The ITS network has been in operation for four years. In addition to monitored traffic cameras, 511 will receive real-time information from county computer-aided dispatch systems.
WVDOT is working on a roadside sign and website sponsorship program to help offset the cost of the 511 system to West Virginia taxpayers.
Future enhancements include My511 personalized alerts where users can register to receive traffic alerts via e-mail and/or text message. My511 users can customize their alerts by choosing the time of day, day of week and type or severity of incidents.
A call to 511 is free, however normal cell phone minute and/or text message charges apply.