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Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2024




In preparation for Severe Weather Preparedness Week (SWPW) Feb. 5 – 9, Georgia Department of Transportation’s 511GA service wants to ensure that all Georgia motorists are equipped to “weather” any storms that should come your way. SWPW presents an opportunity to educate ourselves on how to stay safe during inclement weather.
Flood Safety
  • Avoid Floodwaters – Never attempt to walk or drive through any flooded areas.
  • Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes.
Tornado Safety
  • Create a Safety Plan – Designate a safe space in your home, such as a basement or interior room, in the event that you need to seek shelter during a tornado.
  • Listen to Official Warnings – Take all tornado warning and sirens seriously. Move promptly to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you
Thunderstorm Safety
  • Lightning Safety - Use caution if lightning is expected. Seek indoor shelter and avoid using electrical appliances.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit – Have an emergency kit with essentials like water, first aid items and a flashlight.
The most essential tip that each of these weather occurrences has in common is to STAY INFORMED. 511GA is a valuable resource for timely weather alerts and road condition updates. By dialing 511 or downloading the 511GA app you can access real-time information to assist with your travel plans.
By incorporating these safety tips into your routine and relying on 511GA, you can ensure the well-being of yourself and your loved ones, and weather any storm with confidence. 511GA operators are available to assist GA motorists 24/7.  

 
511GA's Year-End Travel Forecast



The anticipation for the end of year always comes with festive celebrations accompanied by the hustle and bustle of holiday travel. Whether you’re picking up last-minute presents for or heading out to ring in the New Year, closing out 2023 safely with timely and accurate traffic information is essential.
511GA has developed a comprehensive Christmas and New Year travel forecast to ensure you navigate Georgia’s roadways with confidence.

 
WHEN TO TRAVEL

Christmas Week:
  • Historically, the first two days of Christmas week are full of last-minute shoppers and commuters that are leaving work early. You can expect moderate traffic with congestion being the heaviest from 3-7 pm.
  • Happily, the couple of days leading into Christmas (Dec. 22-Dec. 23), including Christmas Eve are predicted to be congestion free! Santa should have no problem getting to every home.
  • As you might expect, with everyone busy unwrapping presents, light traffic is predicted for Christmas Day.
  • If you’re visiting with family this holiday, the best day to return home is going to be Tuesday, Dec. 26.
 
New Year’s Week:

 
  • Motorists can expect to see moderate to heavy traffic during the first couple of days leading into the New Year’s weekend, with the most congestion occurring from 3-7pm.
  • The Friday and Saturday (Dec. 29 - Dec. 30) before NYE will see typical travel times.
  • Entering 2024 should be smooth sailing, with light traffic expected for both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
  • As you might have guessed, most Georgians will be heading back to work the Tuesday after New Year’s Day, which means more traffic. Moderate congestion is expected to take place from 3-7 pm.
HOW TO TRAVEL 
  • Make sure your vehicle is winter-ready.
    • Testing your battery power as lower temperature can cause it to weaken.
    • Keep your gas tank at least half full
  • Move over for First Responders
    • Georgia’s Move-Over law requires drivers to move over one lane if an emergency vehicle with flashing lights is parked on the side of the highway.
  • Request Roadside Assistance
    • Motorists can call 511 for HERO or CHAMP assistance.
  • Travel ahead of time for gift shopping
    • Last-minute shoppers can cause holiday congestion.
    • The increase in motorists can result in delays and backups.
  • Utilize 511GA’s travel services.
    • Download the free 511GA app.
    • Call 511 24/7 for travel information and updates

Follow 511GA on Facebook and X for more forecast updates.
 
Winter Weather Preparedness Week 2023



























Winter Weather Preparedness Week is Dec. 4 – 8 and is designed to raise awareness of winter weather hazards, reinforce understanding of winter weather terminology and ultimately improve Georgia motorists’ readiness for extreme weather during the winter season. 

511GA, a complimentary traveler service of the Georgia DOT, is committed to promoting safe driving practices to better inform motorists and assist with arriving safely to their destination, especially in the event of severe winter weather. 

As the winter season nears, 511GA encourages travelers to learn about various threats, create an action plan, and develop a safety kit. Below are additional ways to be aware and prepare: 

Prepare with 511GA: 

  • Use My511 to set up and create customizable route and area alerts for safe travel. 

  • Check weather conditions on 511ga.org before you hit the road.  

  • Avoid unnecessary travel in inclement weather and do not drive on black ice. 

  • Count on HERO and CHAMP patrollers for roadside assistance on interstates  


See how the Georgia DOT is preparing for winter weather and providing the motoring public with additional safety resources: https://www.dot.ga.gov/GDOT/pages/WinterWeather.aspx 

Crash Responder Safety Week 2023: Protect Those Who Protect You
Every year, hundreds of crash responders put their lives on the line to ensure Georgia’s roadways remain safe while managing accidents and other roadside emergencies. Whether these responders are law enforcement officials, our very own HERO or CHAMP patrollers, or towers, the work they do on a daily basis to maintain our safety is essential.
 
From distracted motorists to unfavorable road conditions, crash responders face risks each time they head out. Crash Responder Safety Week offers the chance to display our gratitude for their hard work and to raise awareness about the importance of protecting those who protect us.
511GA not only serves as a resource for Georgia’s motorists, but also plays a critical role in securing the safety of crash responders on the front lines:
Real Time Traffic Updates:
Navigating to accidents can be a task for first responders. 511GA’s traffic updates provide crash responders with the information needed for them to choose the most efficient routes when heading to an incident.
 
Weather & Road Condition Alerts:
Georgia’s weather can be unpredictable. 511GA’s ability to provide up-to-date information on on the state’s roadways helps crash responders plan and navigate their daily routes.
 
Incident Updates:
Once a crash responder gets an initial notification of an incident, that incident can change rapidly. 511GA pushes out alerts pertaining to all updates related to an incident. This can be extremely helpful as crash responders prepare for their arrival on scene.
 
The use of 511GA can help save your life and the lives of crash responders. This Crash Responder Safety Week let’s remember to use the tools at our disposal to ensure that we protect those who protect us. It’s not just a suggestion, it’s a responsibility.
PRIORITIZING PEDESTRIAN SAFETY



Whether you’re a motorist or a pedestrian, remaining aware of the surroundings on the road is essential when preventing incidents. The importance of pedestrian safety remains a shared responsibility and a key component in Georgia roadway safety. 

You can reinforce this shared responsibility during the month of October by taking part in Pedestrian Safety Month.

Take a look at how you can assist:


Avoid Speeding:
Reduce your speed near areas where pedestrians are likely to be present, such as neighborhoods and school zones. Slower speeds make it easier to react to unexpected situations.

Stay in Your Car & Wait for 511GA Assistance:
Drivers become pedestrians the moment they step outside of their cars. It’s important to be mindful of your surroundings once you exit your car, especially on busy roadways. If you’re in need of roadside assistance, remember to remain in your car to minimize your exposure to other passing motorists. Dialing 511 can connect you to HERO or CHAMP assistance. These trained professionals are equipped to handle emergencies on the highway and can provide guidance or assistance as needed. 

Pedestrian and Motorists Should Both Lookout for One Another:
a. Pedestrian Responsibility: Pedestrians should always use designated crosswalks and follow traffic signals and signs.
b. Motorist Responsibility: Motorists should exercise patience and caution when encountering pedestrians. Always yield the right-of-way when necessary and be prepared to stop.

For more information on how the Georgia Department of Transportation is leading the charge on pedestrian safety, take a second to view the “See and Be Seen” campaign here. Their mission is to usher Georgia’s roadways towards a future that includes zero roadway deaths.

You can join this mission. We can reduce accidents and create safer roads for all road users. Let's work together to ensure that our streets and highways are safe for everyone.
 
 
National Rail Safety Week 2023
























According to Operation Lifesaver, a person or vehicle is hit by a train every 3 hours in the United States. 511 Georgia (511GA) encourages you to help #StopTrackTragedies by participating in Rail Safety Week, Sept. 18-24, and implementing simple tips that can save lives.
 
Fact 1:
The average locomotive weighs about 400,000 pounds. This means that the ratio of a car to train is proportional to that of a soda can to car.
 
Fact 2:
It takes the average freight train traveling at 55 mph more than a mile to stop which means trains can’t stop fast enough to avoid a collision.
 
Those two facts alone should be more than enough for Georgia   motorists to take interest in being equipped with the proper rail safety education. 511GA is here to assist.
 
Here are few things to keep in mind:
 
  1. If your vehicle ever stalls on the tracks, get out and get away, even if you don’t see a train.
  2. You should cross train tracks ONLY at designated pedestrian or roadway crossings and obey all warning signs and signals posted.
  3. NEVER drive around lowered gates – It’s illegal and extremely dangerous.
 
The Georgia Department of Transportation understands the importance of railway safety and has formed the Railroad Safety Unit to identify, reduce, and eliminate hazards at railroad crossings in the state of Georgia. In addition, Georgia DOT’s Section 130 program evaluates and funds crossing safety improvements across the state. 511GA’s operators are available 24/7 to take reports on the malfunction of any railway equipment.
 
To do our part, the 511GA team will update some of our dynamic messaging signs to raise awareness during National Rail Safety Week. Be on the lookout at some of the railroad crossings in your area!
 
You can do your part too:
 
#StopTrackTragedies by taking the official Rail Safety Pledge here: https://oli.org/pledge/adults
 

Use 511 this hurricane season:

Atlantic hurricane season is currently underway and will last until September 30. Are you prepped and ready? Take a look at 511GA’s hurricane preparedness checklist to ensure a safe and successful hurricane season:
 
Hurricane Season Checklist
 1. Plan Ahead
Having a travel itinerary in place can relieve a lot of stress when dealing with inclement weather. Make sure everyone in your household has added a specific evacuation route that leads to a designated safe location to their 511GA app in case an exit strategy is necessary.
 
2.  Prep Your Car for Travel
Remember to ensure that your gas tank in case a quick departure is needed Food, water and medical supplies are necessities during hurricane season. Be sure to confirm that your "to-go" kit is in the car as well. Click here for"to go" kit items.
 
3.  Know Before You Go
Hurricane weather can be unpredictable. Use the weather layer feature on 511GA.org or the mobile app to get an idea of the weather in your area as well as your travel destination. In addition, adding the evacuation layer can offer potential evacuation routes.
 
4. Keep Other Motorists in Mind
You can do your part to help other motorists remain safe. If you happen to travel and see anything that can hinder the safety of other motorists, such as downed trees or powerlines, be sure to call 511 and report it. Our teams will make sure the debris is removed.
 
5. Sign up for My511 alerts and warnings in your area.
511GA is ready and willing to provide updates for any inclement weather near you. Be sure to sign up for a My511 account so you can tailor your 511GA alerts to receive all weather-related and emergency notifications.
For additional info, download Georgia DOT's hurricane brochure here.
 

Roadside Service Updates:

Since 2007, 511 Georgia (511GA) has been the Georgia Department of Transportation’s (Georgia DOT) courtesy travel program, providing information on traffic and congestion, as well as dispatching Highway Emergency Response Operator (HERO) and Coordinated Highway Assistance and Maintenance Program (CHAMP) to motorists on Georgia’s interstates.

While Georgia DOT’s’ HERO implements temporary modifications to its active patrol schedule overnight, 511 operators are always available to help with those requiring assistance on the road.
 
HERO’s new active patrol schedule effective June 16:
  • Monday-Friday 5 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday 6 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

In addition to the temporary schedule modification, the HERO coverage area will also be temporarily modified and CHAMP will adjust routes to supplement HERO’s service.
 
  • CHAMP actively patrols from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
​​​
As always, our 511GA operators remain available 24/7 to assist motorists. 511GA operators can also contact first responder agencies to be dispatched to incidents. Motorists in need of assistance or reporting an incident should simply dial 511, using a mobile device hands-free in accordance with Georgia law.

Continue to follow us on Facebook, X, or 511ga.org for the latest updates. For full details on the temporary modifications, visit here.
THE 16@95 IMPROVEMENTS PROJECT

The 16@95 Improvement Projects will provide infrastructure enhancements to the I-16 at I-95 Interchange and widen along the I-16 corridor from I-95 to I-516. The project benefits to motorists include: 

  • Ease of congestion 
  • Decrease of travel times 
  • Enhancements in motorist safety and travel efficiency 

To navigate through the construction zones and stay updated on traffic conditions during the 16@95 Improvement Projects, motorists can make effective use of 511 Georgia. Here are some ways to utilize this valuable resource: 

  • Dial 511: Call to access real-time traffic information, including but not limited to incidents and congestion by speaking with an operator. 
  • Go to 511ga.org: Visit our website for current traffic volumes and customizable, personalized travel notifications with My511.  
  • Use 511 in the Palm of your Hand: Download the 511 Georgia mobile app on Google Play or the App Store for convenient access to roadway alerts and more. 
  • Follow Us!: Follow 511 Georgia on Facebook or X for further updates
TRANSFORM 285/400
 

Transform 285/

Georgia Department of Transportation’s (Georgia DOT) Transform 285/400 Project is designed to help reduce congestion on the I-285/SR 400 interchange in metro Atlanta. By constructing new flyover ramps and collector-distributor lanes, travel on this interchange will be improved and safer for the motoring public in Georgia.

 

511 Georgia, the Georgia DOT’s free traveler program, is here to help you know before you go and be aware of current road conditions and closures. With our many tools and features, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the curve with new lane openings and updates from the Transform 285/400 project.


Resources
How you can use 511GA to prepare
 
     
  • Visit 511ga.org: See current road conditions, travel speeds, and use step-by-step navigation to plan your route on I-285 & SR 400.  
  • 511 GA App: Have 511GA in the palm of your hands by downloading the app for free on Google Play and App Store.
  • ​​​Call 511: Speak to a live operator if you have travel questions on Georgia’s interstates or state routes.
  • My511: Set up customizable route and area alerts with a My511 account to be notified when traffic changes happen in your specified region or route.