Highway Hotline unveils new update and app

Saskatchewan’s Highway Hotline has gotten a brand-new look and features.

The hotline has launched a new version of its app with cleaner graphics and added functions such as an expanded route-planning feature that includes road conditions.

Steve Shaheen, a senior communications consultant with the Ministry of Highways, said the updated hotline would provide the same functionality people are used to.

“When you click on the hotline, you can actually plan your route, and it will provide road conditions for that route. If you are going from Regina to Saskatoon, it will just give you descriptions of the routes that you are going to be facing, which can change dramatically.”

Users can now download a free mobile app for their smartphones, and it’s available online at Google Play and the Apple Store.

CAA Saskatchewan Director of Corporate Communications Christine Niemczyk said the Highway Hotline is an important tool for drivers to use before they hit the road.

“We include the Saskatchewan Highway Hotline in our safety messaging because we know the weather in our province can change quickly. It’s important to adapt our driving behaviour to the current weather and road conditions and to rely on resources such as the Saskatchewan Highway Hotline to help keep all road users safe.”

The Highway Hotline began nearly 50 years ago as a phone-based service that provided information about road conditions. It has evolved into a phone and web-based service that shares information about highway conditions, road closures, construction zones, ferries and border crossings. Maps and information are updated at least three times per day. During winter storms, updates are made the moment they’re received.

Today, the hotline receives roughly 6.5 million online visits annually. Last winter, impacted by several intense storms, the hotline set a record with nearly 13 million hits.

The hotline features more than 40 cameras on Saskatchewan highways and airports. The cameras provide real-time, current images of weather and highway conditions, which can help travellers make informed decisions about their safety.

In addition to the Highway Hotline, the ministry has more than 300 snowplows deployed across the province that are available to respond to snow and ice on provincial highways 24 hours per day.

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