A new phone service that will allow people to get the latest road conditions by dialling 511 is now available in Alberta.

The new service is similar to some available in five Canadian provinces, including Manitoba, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Yukon, as well as in most U.S. states, says Nancy Beasley Hosker of Alberta Transportation.

The service will also permit smartphone access to maps and information on weather and construction projects.

The new number and website are meant to make winter travel easier, as well as help motorists plan for trips.

Replaces AMA hotline

The official hotline will replace many of the services offered by the Alberta Motor Association, which has been providing road reports for the government since 1927.

Alberta Transportation says it hopes the new service will simplify the reports and take travel information to the "next level."

The hotline is the latest three digit number for Albertans, including 411 for directory assistance, 311 for city services in centres like Calgary and Edmonton, 211 for finding community, social or government services in Calgary, Edmonton and surrounding areas and 911 for emergencies.

RCMP in northern Alberta warned drivers to stay off a number of highways Sunday afternoon.