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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Contact: Brian C. Keeter or Nancy Singer, 202-366-0660
FHWA 13-04

Nation's Top Highway Official Helps Launch New North Carolina Road and Traffic Information Service
Motorists Can Dial 511 For Current Travel Conditions And Road Closures

North Carolina drivers now will be able to get up-to-the minute information about local road and traffic conditions by calling 511, Federal Highway Administrator Mary E. Peters and state highway officials announced today.

The new system, called "511" after the number drivers can dial for the information, is available statewide starting today. The new system allows callers to gather the latest information about traffic jams, road construction and alternative routes in and around the state. The North Carolina 511 system also will provide the latest train and ferry information.

"People's lives don't have to be put on hold by unexpected traffic jams and delays," said Peters. "Starting today, North Carolina's drivers can make one phone call and get the information they need to be on time for their jobs, their errands and, most importantly, their families."

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) provided a $100,000 grant to help North Carolina develop its 511 service.

Peters said DOT is encouraging all 50 states to establish 511 systems. Twenty-one 511 systems are currently up and running in other parts of the country. In some of those areas, as much as 97 percent of drivers who use 511 say they have changed their travel routes because of the information provided.

The first 511 service was launched in the Cincinnati metropolitan area in 2001. With 511 service now available in North Carolina, almost 25 percent of the total U.S. population lives in areas covered by a 511 system. By the end of 2005, half the population is expected to have access to the travel information service.

More information about 511 and national traffic and road closure information is available on the FHWA Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo/index.htm.


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