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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is 511NL?
A. 511NL is a free traveller information service, operated by the Newfoundland and Labrador government, which may be accessed via phone, mobile device or computer. The information covers highway conditions, construction roadwork, weather alerts, flooding events and the availability of ferry services. Users within Newfoundland and Labrador may access the information via phone toll-free by simply calling 5-1-1. Computer and mobile device users may also visit www.511NL.ca or visit roads.gov.nl.ca/default.htm. Having both phone-in and web site components ensures 511NL is available to the widest range of users. 511NL is part of a North American approach to providing weather and traveller information.
Q. Is this service accessible in every region of Newfoundland and Labrador?
A. Yes. All you have to do is call 5-1-1 for free, instant access or go online at www.511NL.ca or roads.gov.nl.ca/default.htm
Q. What kind of information can I get from 511NL?
A. Calling 5-1-1 via the telephone will provide such information as:
  • Road conditions along highways (winter only)
  • Construction activity along highways; and
  • Status of ferry services.

www.511NL.ca online or via smart phones will provide:

  • Road conditions along highways (winter only);
  • Construction, bridge, flooding, incidents and activities along major highways displayed on a map graphic;
  • The status of ferry services.
  • Traffic camera images;
  • Links to partners' websites or information pages;
  • Links to Environment Canada weather;
Q. How can I call 511NL if I am travelling in another province or state?
A.

Get road information from outside Newfoundland and Labrador by dialing toll-free 1-833-616-5511 or 1-833-61NL511

Get ferry information from outside Newfoundland and Labrador by dialing toll-free 1-833-653-3779 or 1-833-NLFERRY

Q. If I have an emergency on the highway, can I call 5-1-1 for assistance?
A. No. Always call 9-1-1 for any emergency.
Q. Where does the information provided on 511NL come from?
A. Winter road conditions, construction/maintenance, and ferry information are provided by Department of Transportation and Works field staff or contracted operators.
Q. How often is the information updated on 511NL?
A.
  • Information on winter road conditions are updated twice daily or whenever significant changes occur. The information provided reflects the latest reported conditions.
  • Information on roadwork is updated as construction phases begin and when the work is completed.
  • Information concerning major events along highways resulting in significant disruptions is updated every time new developments occur or as soon as the event ends
  • Ferry information is updated regularly throughout the day and when significant delays occur.
Q. How much will it cost me to call 5-1-1?
A. If you are in Newfoundland and Labrador, use of the 5-1-1 service is free.
Q. Why have the road report condition descriptions changed?
A. Travellers using 511NL will notice some changes in winter 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.
Q. Is it permissible to use 511NL while driving?
A. 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. Refer to the Highway Traffic Act for laws about the use of mobile devices while driving.
Q. How can I obtain information on the condition of a highway, such as winter road conditions, in neighbouring provinces?
A. Links to neighbouring road report information are on the 511NL website. The 511 telephone component also provides road information contact numbers for Quebec and Nova Scotia.
Q. Why are there orange cones and purple cones?
A. Orange cones identify when a construction activity or lane restriction is currently in place. A purple cone indicates that a major construction activity or lane restriction is currently not in place but is scheduled to start over the coming days or weeks. Additional information on the upcoming activity is available by clicking the cone. The purple cone will turn to orange on the first day of activity.
Q. What is the meaning of the N/O icon when the radar option is enabled?
A. The N/O icon indicates an outage at a particular radar station provided by Environment Canada.
Q. What are Advisories?
A. Advisories are special bulletins issued to advise of challenging situations that require public attention and appropriate action.
Q. What does "Travel Not Recommended" mean?
A. Severe road condition, recommend public to not travel. Maintenance service may be suspended during this advisory.
Q. What does “Closed” mean?
A. A highway and/or adjacent highways have become impassable, including emergency response vehicles due to extensive infrastructure damage and/or severe weather conditions.