New 511PA features include customizable travel alerts, EV charging station and low-bridge locations

Especially useful during the winter months, PennDOT has introduced new features to the 511PA service this week through a brief video outlining the features and how to best use them – from setting up personal alerts and restriction alerts to viewing electric vehicle charging station locations and viewing bridge heights under legal height over state roads.


With the personal alerts feature, motorists can set up alerts for specific roadways, days of the week, and times of the day. Users can now also select the type of alerts they'd like to receive, instead of just receiving all incidents, roadwork, restrictions, weather, and general travel info alerts all-the-time.


Additionally, motorists can now use just an email address or mobile phone number for speed and vehicle restrictions or full roadway closure alerts without having to create a personalized account in the system. Passenger and commercial vehicle drivers alike can benefit from the system – though commercial users will have restrictions and low-bridge data turned on by default when in Drive Mode.


To get the most current and relevant PA traffic information on your smart phone, download the 511PA Mobile App here. The app's hands-free feature lets you hear active PennDOT advisories near you while traveling without having to take your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road, as well.


Motorists should also be reminded of the additional 511PAConnect service – Pennsylvania's trapped-traveler emergency communications tool that allows incident response teams to communicate via automated phone or text message directly with motorists who are trapped in a roadway backup. The service gives emergency crews a clearer picture of who is sitting in a trapped vehicle and where they are so agencies can better plan for the use of resources. It is not a mobile app and requires no initial download or action from motorists. The service is only activated during prolonged emergency roadway stoppages that are expected to last four or more hours. Upon activation, PEMA sends a push message to all phones in the incident area providing motorists instructions for how to participate and receive further information throughout the incident. It also offers distinct benefits to travelers like official updates and the latest relevant information delivered by phone, text message, or web updates depending on what the traveler prefers, ensuring communications reach travelers without requiring them to comb through social media to find the status of an event on their own.