Technical issues knock out emergency road assistance

by: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Updated:

ATLANTA - The state Department of Transportation’s 511 traffic alert and emergency road assistance operation was knocked out of service Saturday due to technical problems, agency officials said.

Georgia DOT spokeswoman Jill Goldberg said few calls were getting through because the technical problems have affected the agency’s 511 phone system.

The outage has also affected DOT cameras over major interstates, and camera images and information on its Georgia Navigator website, which provides incident reports, trip times, weather and news, Goldberg told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Any information online is not current or accurate, the spokeswoman said.

Images of interstate traffic that appear online are also out of date, Goldberg said. “Any pictures they are seeing are not from today,” she said.

Some message boards over interstates, however, were not affected by the outage although others were showing blank screens, Goldberg said. The spokeswoman said the department is trying to use the working message boards for updates.

The technical problems, which occurred during a maintenance operation, may not be resolved until around 4 p.m. Sunday, Goldberg said.

Motorists can use another number if they need assistance: 404-635-8000.

DOT camera outages plagued Ga. 400 in early September. Some of the problems have been linked to stolen copper from wiring.

State and local governments have poured more than $500 million in the past two decades into traffic management and technology, according to DOT officials. That money has paid for tools such as the cameras, highway ramp signals, remote signal timing and HERO units.