Motorists are being advised to check the latest road conditions before traveling anywhere the next few days. Iowans may do so by dialing 511 or logging on to www.511ia.org.
Iowa Department of Public Safety spokesperson Courtney Green says motorists can trust the accuracy of the provided information.
“That information is coming from state troopers and state patrol supervisors who are out on the road,” Green said. “They know exactly how bad conditions are and if they say travel is not advised, people need to really heed that and they need to stay home.”
Department of Transportation crews who are working to keep roads clear of ice and snow pass along information as well. Pavement sensors embedded in bridge decks and roadways also keep maintenance crews informed about trouble spots where icing is occurring. Green says state troopers report their information to one of six radio communication centers around the state that are responsible for updating road conditions.
“If you’re in western Iowa and you dial 511, that information is from western Iowa and not eastern Iowa,” Green said. “So, they really do a good job of making sure that information is updated and pertinent to drivers in that area.”
During a winter storm, Green says the 511 system is continually updated every two to three minutes.