SDDOT reminds drivers to dial before they drive

SDDOT reminds drivers to dial before they drive With the possibility of flurries in the forecast, the South Dakota Department of Transportation reminds drivers to dial 511 before they drive.

The 511 road condition report has been up and running in South Dakota for nearly a year. The free service gives travelers information about road conditions, ice, fog, detours and wind or expected temperatures. People can call the number from any phone and get information for any specific piece of highway in the state.

Since 511 was started in November 2002, the system has fielded over 240,000 calls. The department is expecting even more calls this year.

as people become more aware of 511.

"This is fairly new and we're still trying to get the word out," said Dave Huft, Intelligent Transportation Systems coordinator with the DOT. "We hope that over time, a call to 511 before a person heads out will become as automatic as buckling up a seatbelt."

The system is easy to use. Travelers can simply call 511 from their home or cell phone. 511 prompts the caller to choose the highway number and road segment by pushing the touch-tone buttons. In addition to South Dakota, 511 also covers highways in Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska and North Dakota. Travelers outside of South Dakota can reach the service by dialing the toll-free number 866-MYSD511 (866-697-3511).

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