Topeka (WIBW) - The National Weather Service and the Kansas Department of Transportation marked Wednesday's "Winter Weather Awareness Days" with reminders to keep Kansans safe during the cold season.
KDOT held a news conference to highlight safe winter driving advice. Among their reminders is to take it slow whenever there is snow or ice.
KDOT also says it's made improvements to its traveler information services in advance of the winter holiday travel season. The agency now offers an enhanced 5-1-1 mobile application, available at http://511mm.ksdot.org. The free 511 mobile site now provides maps, camera and electronic message sign views, road conditions, work zone and event information and links to weather. The site is accessible from multiple devices, including iPhones, Droids and Windows mobile devices, Version 6.0 and higher. Any devices not compatible with the new application will be able to access text information only for road conditions and work zones.
KDOT also announced upgraded voice recognition technology on the 511 Phone system to improve user accuracy. From any phone anytime, travelers may call 511 from anywhere in Kansas or 1-866-511-KDOT (5368) from anywhere in the U.S. to get route-specific road conditions, work zone information, including detours and closed roads, and travel-related weather information to plan their trips or for updates as they travel.
In addition, the public may now see enhanced camera views on KanDrive, KDOT’s traveler information gateway for Kansas and surrounding states. Camera snapshots of the roadway are updated every few minutes from closed-circuit cameras installed along I-70 and other highways in other parts of the state.
In addition to the camera tour, KanDrive provides: an interactive map of Kansas roads, work zones and other events impacting traffic and surface-related road conditions; roadside message sign views; and links to related helpful transportation resources, such as KC Scout, neighboring states’ travel information, Kansas Turnpike information, Scenic Byways and more.
KDOT secretary Deb Miller says safety for travelers is a top priority.
“Safety for travelers is KDOT’s top priority and providing traveler information services is certainly one very important way to keep travelers informed so they can make good travel decisions, especially during harsh winter driving conditions,” Miller stated. “While KDOT strives to make travel information available through a variety of services, I want to stress that travelers should not text or talk on cell phones while driving.”