511 Phone System
Dial 511 from any cell or landline phone physically located within Louisiana. The call is free, although standard cell phone minutes may apply.
The 511 system recognizes when a caller is within Louisiana borders regardless of their cell phone area code. The phone system is not location aware, so you will need to request information by city, county or highway.
When you call 511 from a cell phone, the system identifies you by the location of the cell tower or switch which first picks up your call. If you are in Louisiana during your call, you will most likely be connected to Louisiana 511. If you're calling 511 from near a boarder with another state, you may get connected to the other state's 511 system. If this happens, simply request a transfer to Louisiana 511.
The My Louisiana 511 system then uses Caller ID technology to identify you and access your custom profiles. If you have not set up an account, you will simply be connected to 511. Not all cellular carriers provide Caller ID information from their customers. If your Caller ID information does not show up on another phone when you call, you will not be able to use My Louisiana 511. You can use the command ‘profiles’ and be prompted to enter the phone number associated with your account, and you can still use Louisiana 511.
511 is a voice-activated and touch-tone phone system that will guide you through menu options. 511 will ask if you would like information on traffic or if you would like your call to be transferred to a partner agency.
When asking for information on a roadway, first request the roadway by name or number. Then ask for a city or county. For example, say "49," then "Natchitoches Hwy" to receive traffic information on 49 around Natchitoches Hwy. You can also ask for a city or country first, then ask about a specific roadway. Be sure to use the road’s identifier (interstate, state road, U.S.) before the number (ex: Interstate 49, State Road 71, U.S. 1). Please use the road number and not the name (State Road 71 instead of Aloha.)
If you included your phone number in your profile, when you call 511, Caller ID technology will recognize your phone number and access your routes. You will be prompted to say the name of the route for which you want traffic information. If you choose to create a custom-named route, you will have to assign it a name. My Louisiana 511 will recognize the pronunciation of the name in the most common North American English phonetics. Names should be entered in North American English using only standard letters (alphabetic) and spaces. The names are not case sensitive. You can access a list of your custom-named routes anytime when you call 511 by saying, "help." My Louisiana 511 will narrate a list of your saved routes. To make using the custom-named routes easier, listen to how My Louisiana 511 pronounces the names so you can speak the route name in a way the system with recognize them.
Like many other call centers, DOTD records all phone calls to the 511 system. These recordings allow DOTD to troubleshoot the system. By analyzing calls, DOTD can pinpoint potential issues and improve system functionality, such as voice recognition, to provide you with a better user experience.
When calling 511, you should reduce background noise like radios, open windows, air conditioner fans and other people talking. These actions can help the 511 system understand you better. You should also speak slowly and clearly.
Remember to be safe when you check 511. You can call 511, check the mobile application or visit www.511la.org before leaving home or the office to check conditions on your planned route. Long-distance travelers can check 511 from a rest area, restaurant, gas station or other stop to avoid using a cell phone when driving. You can also ask a passenger to check 511 instead.
There are several steps you can take if you're having trouble making the 511 system understand you:
- Speak as clearly as possible
- Minimize background noise
- Check your cell phone signal strength when placing a call; weak reception may cause 511 to have problems understanding what you say.
- Ask for information using single commands instead of back-to-back commands.
- Wait for the system to finish speaking before using a command.
The 511 phone system is sensitive to background noise. Using any type of speaker system when calling 511 may interfere with the system’s voice recognition ability. If you would like to use the 511 system during your drive, we recommend that before your trip, you download the new 511 mobile application for Apple or Android. With the app’s new “Drive Mode” you can enter a destination, receive up to three routes and travel times plus see any incidents on your route. If an incident occurs on your route while you are driving, the app will audibly alert you of the incident. If you still would like to use the 511 phone system, we recommend calling 511 before you get on the road, having a passenger call for you or pulling over to call in a safe location. If you still would like to call 511 using a Bluetooth device, we recommend using a Bluetooth headset.
The 511 phone system is sensitive to background noise. This includes wind noise, additional voices, air conditioners and road noise. Putting your phone on speaker mode increases the chances for these external noises to impact the call and your 511 experience. We recommend calling 511 using the regular hand held mode or a headset. If you would like to use the 511 system during your drive, we recommend that before your trip, you download the new 511 mobile application for Apple or Android. With the app’s new “Drive Mode” you can enter a destination, receive up to three routes and travel times plus see any incidents on your route. If an incident occurs on your route while you are driving, the app will audibly alert you of the incident.
When calling the 511 system, it is important to reduce any background noise. Multiple voices may result in the system not recognizing your request. If you need to check 511 while you are in a loud space, we recommend visiting our website www.511la.org, downloading our free app or signing up for personalized services. With the new My Louisiana 511 personalized services you have the ability to create door to door routes and have the system send you a text message or email when a crash, congestion or closure comes up on your route. The notification will include your updated travel time. You can set up these alerts for any day or time of your choosing.
The 711 Telecommunications Relay Service allows the deaf and hard-of-hearing who use telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) to access the voice recognition and response features of Louisiana 511. To access 511, a user would need to know the county from which they are calling or to which they are traveling.
Here's how a 511 call through 711 might happen:
Customer: Dials 711
Operator: "Louisiana Relay Operator (insert CA ID#) M(male)/F(female) GA (go ahead)"
Customer: "Please dial Louisiana 511 GA"
Operator: "County you are calling from pls Q GA"
Customer: Provides the county
The Operator then connects the customer to the 511 system. The Operator types what is heard after dialing the number. The customer would request information from 511 following the same call flows as other 511 callers, requesting traffic or transfer.
NOTE: Not all Louisiana counties have 511-covered roadways. If a caller calls from a county where there are no 511-covered roadways, the operator may inform the caller "I'M SORRY 511 SERVICE IS NOT AVAILABLE IN THAT COUNTY ... GA"
Some Internet telephony (VoIP) providers are compatible with 511. The service uses the address you register with the provider (primarily used to identify your location for 911 or E911). When you call 511, your provider will route the call to 511.
Not all VoIP carriers are able to identify your registered location to 511 yet. Vonage is the first VoIP carrier to do so, and cable companies which provide VoIP (or digital phone) may also provide this service.
If you are able to access 511 in Louisiana from your VoIP phone, you will be able to use My Louisiana 511 from that phone as well. Since My Louisiana 511 recognizes you by your registered phone number, once you're connected to Louisiana 511, you will have the option to hear your customized routes first.
To see if your provider is compatible, dial 511 from your VoIP phone and see if it connects you to the statewide Louisiana 511 system. If it does, you will be able to access the My Louisiana 511 features from that phone. You can also contact your VoIP provider and ask if their service is compatible with 511.
If you cannot access 511 from you VoIP phone, please submit an email through the “Submit Feedback” form located on the website on the bottom right-hand corner.
Many offices use Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems. Typically, when a call is placed from a phone on a PBX system, Caller ID registers the system's main phone number or the first available outside line instead of the direct phone number for the individual. Users who register a phone number on a PBX system may be unable to access My Louisiana 511, or may access the account of another user who registered the main number. Since two users cannot register the same primary or secondary phone numbers, co-workers should not register their office's main number as this could cause confusion. To test whether your office phone will work with My Louisiana 511, call your cell phone or another phone equipped with Caller ID and note what number appears on Caller ID. If it is your direct line, your office phone number should work with My Louisiana 511. If not, we recommend you not register your office phone and instead use a cell phone or home phone number. Some companies have their Caller ID permanently blocked. If your company is one of them, My Louisiana 511 will not recognize you when you call from your work phone due to the fact that Caller ID will show the call as either "unknown" or "restricted."