Alberta's Official Road Reports

Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is 511 Alberta?
A. 511 Alberta is a free traveller information service, operated by the Alberta government, that may be accessed via phone, mobile device or computer. The information covers highway conditions, roadwork, major incidents, weather alerts, availability of ferry services and waiting times at border crossings. Users within Alberta may access the information via phone toll-free by simply calling 5-1-1, similar to the way they would call 9-1-1 for emergencies or 4-1-1 for directory assistance. Computer and mobile device users may also visit the 511 Alberta web site at www.511.alberta.ca. Having both phone-in and web site components ensures 511 Alberta is available to the widest range of users. 511 Alberta is part of a North American approach to providing weather and traveller information.

Q. Is this service accessible in every region of Alberta?
A. Yes. All you have to do is call 511 for free, instant access or go online at 511.alberta.ca. You will also find 511 on Twitter @511Alberta

Q. What kind of information can I get from 511 Alberta?
A. 511 Alberta, which you can access by telephone, smart phone and on the Web, is the only official source of transportation information necessary to plan safe trips across Alberta. It is also the place to report weather conditions or an incident on Alberta’s major highways, make a comment or a complaint.

511 via the telephone will provide such information as:
  • road conditions;
  • delays or detours resulting from roadwork;
  • major incidents; and
  • the availability of ferry services.

Over the telephone, you can search for information by route or by road. The 511 Alberta telephone service works by either voice activation or by a telephone keypad.

511.alberta.ca online or via smart phones will provide:
  • traffic camera images;
  • an interactive map displaying highway conditions and roadwork under provincial responsibility in a given region;
  • links to RSS feeds for the major roads in Alberta;
  • links to partners' websites or information pages;
  • links to Environment Canada weather;
  • links to border crossings;
  • links to national and provincial parks within Alberta.

Q. How can I call 511 if I am travelling in another province or state?
A. You can dial toll-free 1-855-391-9743 from anywhere in North America to hear the same information as if you are dialing 511 from within Alberta.

Q. If I have a breakdown or an emergency on the highway, can I call 511 Alberta for assistance?
A. Call 911 for any emergency.

Q. Where does the information provided on 511 Alberta come from?
A. Informing the general public is a priority for the Alberta government. Aware of potential disruptions on its road network, the Alberta government has adopted information transmission procedures and dissemination tools to reach users, road professionals and its various partners. Highway maintenance crews and others across the province regularly update the information provided through 511 Alberta.

Q. How often is the information updated on 511 Alberta?
A. Information concerning major events in progress on the road network and resulting in significant disruptions is updated every time new developments occur or as soon as the event ends.
Information on winter road conditions is updated at least once a day or whenever significant changes occur. The information provided reflects the current conditions on a given segment.
Information on roadwork is updated as major construction phases begin and when the work is over. Once the information is captured in the information processing systems, it is made available on 511 Alberta within 5 minutes.

Q. Why is this new service starting when we already have AMA Road Reports?
A. The Government of Alberta has partnered with the AMA since 1927. Alberta Transportation has always provided AMA with road reports information and later, camera access to timely photos of conditions, to help travellers plan safe trips across the province. Transitioning to the new service to become part of the North American-wide 511 road reports system, we decided together that the government was best situated to provide Albertans with this information moving forward. The new 511.Alberta.ca website now offers the timely road reports and other important travel information on a Government of Alberta website. The Government of Alberta values our 75-year plus partnership with the AMA and will continue to work with them on driver training and traffic safety initiatives.

Q. How much will it cost me to call 511 Alberta?
A. If you are in Alberta, use of the 511 Alberta service is free.

Q. Why has 511 Alberta changed the road report condition descriptions?
A. Travellers using 511, Alberta’s Official Road Reports, will notice some changes in road condition descriptions. Canadian road authorities have worked together to develop a new and consistent vocabulary as part of 511 systems being implemented by jurisdictions throughout the country. You will find the complete descriptions here.

Q. Is there a way to obtain an automatic status update for a specific road?
A. You can receive the latest information updates regarding the Alberta road network instantly and free of charge on your computer or on your smart phone. All you have to do is access the 511 Alberta website at www.511.alberta.ca and go to the RSS Subscriptions section to subscribe. To display XML content on your smart phone or on your computer, you need an RSS reader or an RSS web module.
The RSS Feeds * are not exclusive to 511 Alberta. Several software products offer this service. Many RSS feed readers are offered on the Web; while some must be purchased, others can be downloaded free of charge.

* Web syndication format based on XML language, allowing web page content to be indexed automatically and made available to Web users instantaneously.

Q. Is it permissible to consult 511 Alberta while driving?
A. Yes, so long as you are using a hands-free telephone device and the voice-activated 511 function.

The use of hand-held devices with a telephone function, such as cell phones or smart phones (for example, BlackBerry, iPhone, etc.), is prohibited when driving. Operating an automobile requires your full attention and concentration. Distracted driving legislation is in effect in Alberta and access to this site while driving could result in a $172.00 fine.

Q. How can I obtain information on the condition of a highway, such as winter road conditions, in neighbouring states or provinces?
A. Links to neighbouring road report information are on the 511 Alberta website. The 511 telephone component also provides road information contact numbers for other areas bordering Alberta.

Q. How can I report a highway problem or any other maintenance issue?
A. Please contact the appropriate highway maintenance contractors in your area. Highway Maintenance Contractors

Q. How can I link to the 511 Alberta website?
A. You can add the 511 Alberta button.
511 Alberta
To embed the 511 Alberta button to your website copy the following code:
Embed Code:
<a href="http://511.alberta.ca/"><img alt="511 Alberta" src="http://www.transportation.alberta.ca/images/511.jpg"/></a>