Hancock County officials offer text alerts to help avoid daily traffic problems on I-70

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HANCOCK COUNTY, Ind. — Public safety officials in Hancock County are hoping to keep drivers informed on ongoing traffic problems on I-70 through the use of text messaging.

“Whenever there’s a crash, an accident or some type of slowdown, we send those messages out,” said Hancock County 911 Center spokesperson Greg Duda. “Sometimes now it’s become daily, and we want to keep people aware.”

The push comes as Hancock County public safety officials deal with daily backups and crashes near construction zones along I-70 between Greenfield and Knightstown in Henry County. For the last two weeks, eastbound traffic has been merged into one lane through several work areas, leading to problems.

“People are not paying attention, and that’s where we’re getting all these accidents,” Duda said. “I guess it’s most people are frustrated with being stuck in traffic and just not paying attention to the vehicle in front of them, not leaving enough stopping distance, and then also merging too late.”

At the same time, construction projects are also underway on State Road 9, which is a popular connector between I-70 and U.S. 40 to the south. Construction also has the exit ramp from I-70 to State Road 109 closed.

“So a lot of the detours people would be using to get out of that mess are getting stuck in a further mess,” Duda said.

In an effort to keep drivers informed about slowdowns and accidents, the Hancock County 911 Center is encouraging drivers to sign up for free text alerts, which are sent directly to their phones.

To sign up for the alerts, anyone can text i70HANCOCK to 226787. You don’t have to be a Hancock County resident to sign up, and the alerts are the same as the updates sent out over the “Smart 911” app that many drivers have on their phones.

While the alerts may not get the cars in front of you moving faster, Duda says they could provide enough warning to allow you to take a different route.

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