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Frequently Asked Questions

1.888.780.4440 outside Nova Scotia


Q. What is 511 Nova Scotia?
A. 511 Nova Scotia is a free traveller information service, operated by the Nova Scotia government, which may be accessed via phone, mobile device or computer. The information covers highway conditions, roadwork, major incidents, weather alerts, availability of ferry services and park information. Users within Nova Scotia 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 visit the 511 Nova Scotia web site at 511.gov.ns.ca. Having both phone-in and website components ensures 511 Nova Scotia is available to the widest range of users. 511 Nova Scotia is part of a North American approach to providing weather and traveller information.
Q. Is this service accessible in every region of Nova Scotia?
A. Yes. All you have to do is call 511 for free, instant access or go online at 511.gov.ns.ca.
Q. What kind of information can I get from 511 Nova Scotia?
A. 511 Nova Scotia, which you can access by telephone and on the Web, is an official source of transportation information necessary to plan safe trips across Nova Scotia.It is also the place to report weather conditions or an incident on Nova Scotia's major highways.

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 Nova Scotia telephone service works by either voice activation or by a telephone keypad.

511.gov.ns.ca online will provide:
  • Driving conditions influenced by weather conditions;
  • Road construction activity;
  • Advisory or emergency messages affecting driving conditions;
Q. How can I call 511 if I am travelling in another province or state?
A. You can dial toll-free 1.888.780.4440 from outside Nova Scotia to hear the same information as if you are dialing 511 from within Nova Scotia.
Q. If I have a breakdown or an emergency on the highway, can I call 511 Nova Scotia for assistance?
A. Call 911 for any emergency.
Q. Where does the information provided on 511 Nova Scotia come from?
A. Informing the public is a priority for the Nova Scotia government. Aware of potential disruptions on its road network, the Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia
Q. How often is the information updated on 511 Nova Scotia?
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 three times daily 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 Nova Scotia within 5 minutes.
Q. How much will it cost me to call 511 Nova Scotia?
A. If you are in Nova Scotia, use of the 511 Nova Scotia service is free.
Q. Why has 511 Nova Scotia changed the road report condition descriptions?
A. Travellers using 511, Nova Scotia's Official Road Reports, will notice some changes in road conditions 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 consult 511 Nova Scotia 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 Nova Scotia.
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 Nova Scotia website.