We all know to call 911 in a life-threatening emergency, but do you know who to contact for car-related issues that aren’t emergencies? The answer is 311! In 1996, Baltimore became the first U.S. city to deploy 311 as a non-emergency telephone number. Now, this non-emergency hotline provides access to government services and information in many cities and counties across the United States.

Some common auto-related reasons to call 311 are:

Illegally parked cars. You can contact 311 to report vehicles blocking fire hydrants, parked in handicapped spots without proper authorization, or parked in a residential permit-only zone. You can report the violation and request that a parking enforcement officer come to the location and assess the situation.

Abandoned vehicles. Another common reason to call 311 is to report an abandoned vehicle. An abandoned car is one that has been left on public property for an extended period of time without being moved or claimed by its owner. Abandoned cars can be an eyesore and can also pose a safety hazard. By reporting the vehicle to 311, you can request that it be towed and removed from the area.

Traffic signals and signs. If you notice that a traffic signal is malfunctioning or a road sign is missing or damaged, you can call 311 to report the issue. This is especially important if the malfunction or damage poses a safety risk for drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians.

Potholes and road damage. Potholes and other road damage can be a major annoyance for drivers and can also cause damage to your car. If you encounter a pothole or notice other damage to the road, you can call 311 to report the issue.

Streetlight Outages. If you notice a streetlight that is not working, you can call 311 to report it. The city will then send someone to repair the streetlight.

Beyond vehicle-related issues, 311 provides access to a variety of services, programs, and information. Here are the links to information about the 311 services in Baltimore City and some of Maryland’s most populated counties:

Anne Arundel County

Baltimore City

Baltimore County (BaltCoGo)

Howard County

Montgomery County

Prince George’s County

Many counties also offer mobile apps for connecting to 311 services. Check online and your app store for information about your county’s services.

Calling 311 instead of 911 frees up emergency lines and connects you to the right department to handle your non-emergency issue. By reporting issues to the city or county, you can help ensure that your neighborhood remains safe and functioning properly.

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