Using text messages to avoid traffic

As anyone with a drivers license will tell you, sitting in traffic can be infuriating. It can be made worse if there is an alternate route that could have been taken to avoid the congestion, if only you had been aware of the congestion before leaving home.

We don't always have time to catch the news or search through Twitter or Facebook for updates to see if your typical route will have any problems. However, taking a quick look at your text messages while walking to the car is something we can all do.

According to a recent article from KPLC, a Lake Charles, Louisiana news source, that is something that the Lake Charles Police Nixle Alert system is taking advantage of. The LCPD has been running a text message alert service for over a year to warn residents of traffic issues.

"Anything from construction going on the highways to accidents, areas to avoid and so forth and so on. And it's totally free," explained Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon. He added that the service also sends alerts of other emergencies like major crimes in progress so people know to avoid a specific area.

Residents can easily sign up for free by texting 888-777 and users can even choose if there are specific times that they do not want to receive messages, like between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to avoid having their sleep disrupted.

Currently nearly 4,000 residents have signed up and that number is growing.

With the help of an SMS service provider, any organization will be able to create and maintain a text alert system.