On November 18, 2002 the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Highway Patrol began providing travelers a new statewide, toll-free phone number for information about weather and road conditions. By dialing "511", users of cellular and land-based phones receive up-to-date, location-specific road and weather information on any Interstate, U.S., or state highway in South Dakota and several adjoining states.
Callers can request road and weather conditions for any route on the South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota state highway systems. Callers may ask for conditions along a general highway segment-for example, Interstate 90 from Rapid City to Wall-or at a specific milepost or exit number-for example, U.S. 14 at Milepost 301 (a location near the city of Miller). Mileposts are located at one-mile intervals along all state highways.
South Dakota's 511 initiative is part of a program to establish 511 as the universal Traveler Information Number throughout the nation. The work represents a partnership between the Department of Transportation, the Highway Patrol, and the state's local telephone and cellular service providers, who have programmed their phone systems to recognize 511. You can also obtain this information by dialing 866-MYSD511.
Travelers should not confuse 511 with 911, the nationwide emergency response number. Any situation requiring police, fire department, ambulance, or other emergency services must still be reported to 911, which is manned by trained public safety dispatchers.
For further information contact David Huft, Intelligent Transportation Systems Coordinator, South Dakota Department of Transportation, 700 East Broadway, Pierre, SD 57501-2586, 605.773.3358, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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