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April 2017
 
In this Issue
New Florida 511 Twitter Feature Brings Traffic Alerts to Life |
Florida 511 Can Help during Wildfires |
Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Encourages
Extra Caution through Construction Zones
|
Take Florida 511 out to the Ballgames
for the Rays and Marlins Season Openers
|
Learn the Sobering Facts about Drinking
and Driving during Alcohol Awareness Month
|
Florida Events in April | 511 Photo of the Month
 
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New Florida 511 Twitter Feature Brings Traffic Alerts to Life

A new Florida 511 Twitter feature can help users see what traffic troubles may be ahead of them. Every new alert and alert update on any of the Florida 511 Twitter feeds includes a link connecting followers to detailed incident information and a real-time traffic camera view (when available). These links continue to appear for each incident until the event is cleared.

Twitter is one of five platforms providing real-time traffic information through the Florida 511 Traveler Information System. Florida 511 offers statewide, regional and roadway-specific Twitter feeds. Users also can visit FL511.com, download the free mobile app, sign up for customized text and email traffic alerts for door-to-door routes, or call 511.

With the new Florida 511 Twitter integration feature, residents and visitors can “know before you go” to arrive at their destinations safely and with fewer delays.

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Florida 511 Can Help during Wildfires
Florida 511 Can Help during Wildfires

Wildfires can be frightening and dangerous. The Florida 511 Traveler Information System, a free service provided by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), can help. Florida residents and visitors can check Florida 511 for real-time roadway conditions, including low visibility or closures.

Wildfires are a threat year-round in Florida, but they tend to peak from March through June when dry woodlands and underbrush can turn into a tinderbox for lightning strikes.

If a wildfire breaks out in your area, Emergency Alerts posted on the FL511.com home page and mobile app home screen update drivers about how routes are affected. The Florida 511 system also provides smoke and visibility warnings, and suggest alternate routes when traffic congestion or road closures occur.

Wildfire Snapshot

Florida leads the nation in lightning strikes with 1.4 million lightning strikes per year. That’s an average of 25 strikes per square mile, according to The Weather Channel’s weather.com. As of, March 30, more than 1,190 wildfires in Florida have burned about 49,900 acres this year. That’s an increase from the approximately 760 wildfires that burned about 13,500 acres during the same period in 2016, according to statistics from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

To check the latest fire danger index, or learn more about forest fire prevention and laws, visit the Wildfire Information page on the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website. Among the helpful information found there is a brochure on what to do if you encounter smoke on the highway.  Suggestions include:

  • Slow down!
  • Turn on your low-beam headlights.
  • Report the hazard to the nearest Florida Highway Patrol office by pulling off the roadway and calling *FHP (*347) from your cell phone.
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Work Zone Safety Awareness Week Encourages
Extra Caution through Construction Zones
National Work Zone Awareness Week

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) recognizes April 3 – 7 as National Work Zone Awareness Week. The annual spring campaign encourages safe driving through highway work zones. Distracted, aggressive or speeding drivers can cause crashes in construction areas.

Simple tips for improving safety through work zones include:

  • Be alert.
  • Slow down to posted speeds.
  • Avoid distraction.
  • Don’t tailgate.
  • Expect the unexpected.

With the Florida 511 Traveler Information System, drivers can know about construction activity and slowdowns before they go. Motorists can receive text messages and email alerts for daily routes by signing up for a My Florida 511 personalized services account. Alerts include changes in traffic speeds or estimated travel time; and information about congestion, construction and incidents. Drivers can also learn more about all of FDOT’s active construction projects by clicking on the Construction Info link on the Florida 511 website or mobile app.

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Take Florida 511 out to the Ballgames
for the Rays and Marlins
Take Florida 511 out to the Ballgames

Whether baseball fans are heading to watch their favorite hitters at home plate or just heading home, Florida 511’s real-time traffic info can help them arrive safely and with fewer delays. The Tampa Bay Rays and Miami Marlins will each play more than 80 home games this season.

Marlins and Rays fans can check traffic conditions near their team’s stadium on FL511.com before heading to the game. The interactive map can help drivers plan around congestion, crashes, construction and closures. Fans can also check out traffic speeds, message signs and weather alerts; and view highway and toll-road traffic cameras on their route to the ballpark.

Some waits, like at the concession stand, are unavoidable but traffic doesn’t have to be one of them. Fans can download the free Florida 511 mobile app to view the mobile-friendly website and use the Drive Mode function to hear any upcoming incidents while behind the wheel.

By signing up for a My Florida 511 personalized services account on the website or free mobile app, fans can create door-to-door routes to the stadium and other favorite destinations. They can schedule route-specific text and email alerts in English or Spanish that include travel time estimates, traffic speed changes and traffic incidents. If there’s an incident ahead, the system can suggest alternate routes. In addition to this, fans can receive traffic information by dialing 511 toll-free or follow one of the statewide, regional or roadway-specific Twitter feeds (#FL511).

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Learn the Sobering Facts about Drinking and
Driving during Alcohol Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month

The statistics alone should be sobering.

Alcohol-impaired drivers are involved in crashes that kill 28 people a day across the nation. That’s one death every 53 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Alcohol-related crashes cost the nation nearly 10,000 lives a year. That’s why the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) supports national Alcohol Awareness Month in April, which reminds drivers and families about the devastating damage done by drinking and driving.

There are many online resources to help people negatively affected by alcohol.

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Florida Events in April

There is no shortage of things to do in Florida during April. When travelling to these events, visit FL511.com before leaving to plan your route for a safe arrival and to experience fewer delays.

Festival Image
April 28–30
Pompano Beach Seafood Festival
Pompano Beach Seafood Festival (Pompano Beach)

The 30th Pompano Beach Seafood Festival serves up offerings from the ocean, including conch salad, coconut shrimp, ceviche and paella. Live rock and Afro-Latin funk music will be on three beach stages, and a Boardwalk Bazaar will feature more than 100 arts and crafts vendors. For more information, visit the website.
April 28 – 30
Pensacola Crawfish Festival
Pensacola Crawfish Festival (Pensacola)

The 33rd annual Pensacola Crawfish Festival in Bartram Park features 16,000 pounds of boiled crawfish served with Cajun dishes such as red beans and rice, seafood gumbo, étouffée, and jambalaya. The festival takes place during the Fiesta of Five Flags which celebrates the founding of Pensacola in 1559 as the first European settlement in the United States. Since that time, Spanish, French, British, Confederate and American flags have flown over the city. Don’t miss the live entertainment for all ages and interests. For more information, visit the website.
April 29 – 30
Welcome to Rockville
Welcome to Rockville (Jacksonville)

The annual hard rock and heavy metal music festival returns to Metropolitan Park on the banks of the St. Johns River in downtown Jacksonville. In addition to the non-stop, turn-it-up-loud heavy metal music, attendees can enjoy food and drinks, and browsing vendor tents along the riverfront for a souvenir black tour t-shirt from their favorite band. For more information, visit the website.
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April photo of the month
Camera icon 511 Photo of the Month

Incident Responders assist in moving a disabled vehicle (Courtesy of FDOT District Four)

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511's Suite of Products

 
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© 2017 Florida Department of Transportation
605 Suwannee St. Tallahassee, FL 32399

www.fdot.gov - FL511.com
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