MnDOT alert system helpful for holiday, winter travel

Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 7:53 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – According to Triple AAA, more than 49 million Americans are expected to travel by car for their Thanksgiving plans.

With so many people out on the roads, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) has developed a system to inform and alert drivers during the holiday season.

“Whether they are traveling to their destination by car, or they are traveling by car or other means to get to an airport,” MnDOT spokesman Mike Dougherty said. “There are just a lot more people on the road then the traditional time. So, if you look at statistics that makes it more likely that there can be those types of crashes.”

The notification system is similar to an Amber Alert. If a serious crash happens close to where you are on the road, you will receive a notification.

This system could provide helpful insight for drivers to avoid the holiday traffic.

“Also we do see, winter is one of the seasons where we do see the potential of significant traffic delays, based on weather or crashes, where vehicles are traveling to fast for conditions,” Dougherty said.

Doughtery also explained these alerts are for serious crashes that would result in at minimum a four-hour delay in traffic on any major highway or interstate across the state.

Since its introduction in August of this year, MnDOT has not sent out any of these alerts out.

“There’s a good chance you’ll go through winter and beyond without ever receiving any of these alerts,” Dougherty said. “It’s good to know they exist so that if it does happen, you know not to be alarmed but its good information.”

MnDOT explained the alerts will only appear when you enter the geographical area of the crash, and that no signup or app is required to receive them.