St. Louis “511” Traffic Hotline to End

The Missouri Department of Transportation has announced that it going to end the “511” travel and traffic information hot-line in the St. Louis area at the end of the month.

The hot-line started six years ago in the anticipation of construction on Missouri Highway 40. The service allowed drivers to use their cell phones to get real-time information and updates about specific St. Louis roadways. The hot-line was provided by MoDot, at no cost to Missouri tax payers. Unfortunately, the private partner announced that it could not sustain this model, due to minimal advertising.

The “511” service had on average about 100-250 calls per day, according to MoDot assistant district engineer Tom Blair. Blair says that hot-line got good use, and was important to St. Louis area drivers.  Other MoDot officials are saying they have different tools to assist drivers and that they can no longer afford the “511” hot-line without taxing Missourians.

These other tools for travelers include a real-time traffic map on the MoDOT website, and a MoDOT cell phone application that offers text alerts, e-mail updates, and electronic message boards.  Each of these tools convey information about construction, road conditions, and traffic jams.  Concerned drivers can also call MoDOT’s 24-hour customer service desk at 1-888-275-6636 (ASK-MoDOT).

MoDOT may reactivate the service in time, but for now it is busy covering the signs on local highways and closing down the “511” hot-line.

While the “511” hot-line was convenient for St. Louis area drivers, any type of service that encourages the distraction of mobile phone use while driving is potentially dangerous. Use of a hands held mobile phone while driving increases the risk of a collision. According to distraction.gov, Missouri, among several other states, has some of the least harsh restrictions on mobile phone bans. As a primary law, Missouri has a ban on texting for novice drivers, or any drivers under the age of 21. So, an officer can ticket any novice driver for texting while driving, without any other traffic violation taking place. It seems inevitable, that in the near future, as in other states, Missouri will adopt more strict rules on the use of cell phones.

If you have been a victim of a Missouri car crash, where the other driver was distracted by a mobile phone or other distraction, you may be entitled to compensation. You should not have to suffer because of the negligent behavior of another driver. An experienced, compassionate Missouri injury attorney will fight aggressively to win you the compensation you deserve. For a free, no obligation consultation, call us today at 314.409.7060 or toll free at 855.40.CRASH. If you do decide to hire us, remember that we will NOT take a fee unless we win you money.

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