Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced updates to the 511PA traveler information service including new features and alert customization for passenger vehicle and commercial vehicle drivers. The department also shared brief videos outlining the features and how to use them.
"511PA helps travelers plan ahead year-round but can be especially useful in winter," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "511PA allows users to view color-coded winter conditions, see plow truck locations, and now receive alerts more tailored to their needs."
511PA allows motorists to set up personalized travel alerts for specific roadways, days of the week, and times of the day. New to this feature, users can now select the type of alerts they would like to receive, rather than receiving all alerts. Categories include incidents, roadwork, general travel information, travel restrictions, and weather-related alerts.
Additionally, motorists can now use just an email or mobile phone number for speed and vehicle restrictions or full roadway closures without creating a personalized account.
Commercial vehicle drivers can also benefit from two enhancements tailored to their needs. 511PA now includes locations for all bridges under legal height (<13'6") over state roads to enhance information that drivers may be receiving from third-party navigation systems. This information can be viewed on the web map and is also available as an alert that can be heard in drive mode on the mobile app.
Additionally, the 511PA mobile app now allows drivers to specify vehicle type – either commercial or passenger vehicle. If commercial vehicle is selected, vehicle restrictions and low-bridge data is turned on in drive mode by default.
To enhance traveler information for the growing number of electric-vehicle (EV) drivers, 511PA now also includes EV charging station locations as an option on its traffic map. Using data from the U.S. Department of Energy, the map shows locations across the state by connector type, including CCS, J1772, CHAdeMO, Tesla, and NEMA.
"511PA is a valuable tool that helps motorists plan safe travel by providing them with as much information as possible," said Gramian. "These new features are just another way we put our data to work for all motorists, including those driving passenger or commercial vehicles, and now electric vehicles, too."
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.
For more information on safe winter travel, an emergency kit checklist and information on PennDOT's winter operations including a video, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter. Additional winter driving and other highway safety information is available at www.PennDOT.gov/safety.
PennDOT's media center offers resources for organizations, community groups, or others who share safety information with their stakeholders. Social-media-sized graphics highlighting winter safety are among the available options.
Follow PennDOT on Twitter and like the department on Facebook and Instagram.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Kuntch, 717-705-1551 or email@example.com
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