May 10, 2018
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It's mowing season on Missouri roadsides
Please watch out for MoDOT crews

MoDOT crews will soon begin mowing roadsides across the state.

"Our mowing focuses on visibility and safety," said MoDOT State Maintenance Engineer Becky Allmeroth. "Motorists will see tractor mowers near the shoulder of interstates and other busy roadways. Please watch out for our crews, slow down and don't drive distracted."

Major and minor routes are mowed in three cycles usually starting in mid-May, mid-July and mid-September. Along with mowing, crews selectively use herbicides to stunt vegetation growth, control brush and stop the spread of noxious weeds. Wildflowers and careful herbicide usage add additional benefits in that they reduce the amount of time spent mowing fence-to-fence.

MoDOT mows about 400,000 acres of grass each year, which is equivalent to 300,000 football fields.

On rural two-lane roads, crews may use a protective "follow" truck to alert motorists they are approaching slow-moving mowers. Drivers are advised to use the following tips to safely pass mowers:
  • Be alert for trucks and tractors with lights flashing and moving slowly, 2 to 5 mph.
  • Slow down and focus on the road ahead of you. Avoid talking and texting on a cell phone or other distractions.
  • Be prepared to stop or drive very slowly behind a "follow" truck, especially approaching a hill or curve on a two-lane road.
  • Obey the "no passing zone" stripes, and only pass when you can see far enough past the "follow" truck to avoid meeting oncoming traffic.
Between mowing cycles, report grass and weeds blocking visibility at intersections along state roads to MoDOT. Contact MoDOT's 24/7 Customer Service Center at 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636) or fill out an online form at and click on "Report A Road Concern".
Take the challenge: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your seat belt. If you are a driver, put the cell phone down. Join the 2,419 individuals and 384 businesses who have joined the movement so far.

Click below to accept the challenge!

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Have You Seen This?
Chick-fil-A reminds customers to "Buckle Up Phone Down"
Take these simple steps for a healthier, happier family

The exterior of the Chick-fil-A restaurant at 3407 Missouri Boulevard in Jefferson City brings the "Buckle Up Phone Down" message to customers and motorists on the capital city's west side.
A Missouri restaurant and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety have teamed up to promote highway safety to central Missouri families.

Tom Van Voorn, Chick-fil-A franchise owner, is helping encourage the "Buckle Up/Phone Down" challenge at his restaurant at 3407 Missouri Blvd. in Jefferson City. Colorful banners-clearly visible from Missouri Blvd. and U.S. Highway 50-cover the front of the business, and various posters and stickers throughout the dining area remind customers of the important safety message.

Boxes on dining room tables invite families to place their phones inside and talk to each other while they eat. Van Voorn said that program was conceived to help families improve the quality of their time together, and he envisions the "Buckle Up Phone Down" challenge as a way to increase the quantity of that time together.

"It isn't about selling food," Van Voorn said. "It's about saving lives."

"This kind of community partnership is a win for everyone," said State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood. "Tom's generosity and compassion will help us reach thousands of families with the simple message to buckle up and put your phone down every time you drive!"

When properly used, seat belts significantly reduce the risk of critical injuries and save lives.

Texting increases the risk of a car crash by 50 percent. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for nearly five seconds. At 55 mph, that is the same as driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded.

Motorists are encouraged to do their part to make Missouri's roads safer and accept the "Buckle Up Phone Down" challenge at or follow us on Facebook at Save MO Lives.
The original Gold Spike on display at the Cantor Arts Museum at Stanford University. Photo from Wikipedia.
This day in transportation history

May 10, 1869 - The First Transcontinental Railroad, which helped considerably facilitate coast-to-coast transportation in the United States, was officially opened with the driving of the so-called "Gold Spike" at Promontory Summit in what was then the Territory of Utah.

Did You Know This?
Multimodal Operations 

MoDOT's mission includes responsibility for other modes of transportation such as rail, river, air and public transportation. In these areas, most of MoDOT's funding comes from federal sources or from state funds that must be appropriated by the Legislature because the State Road Fund revenues are constitutionally required to be spent on roads and bridges. 

Here are some interesting facts:
  • Aviation - Missouri has 123 public-use airports and 35 business-capable airports.
  • Railroads - Missouri has 4,200 miles of mainline railroad track. Kansas City and St. Louis are the nation's second- and third-largest freight rail hubs. Missouri has the 10th largest rail network with the 4th most tonnage carried.
  • Waterways - Missouri has 1,050 miles of navigable rivers and 14 public river ports, including St. Louis, which is the 3rd largest inland port in the U.S.
  • Public Transit - Some 60 million public transit trips are made by Missourians per year. Some form of public transportation exists in all 114 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis.
  • Freight Development - Missouri is ideally suited to become a national freight leader due to its extensive transportation network and central U.S. location. Trucks, planes, barges and trains in Missouri move 1 billion tons of freight each year valued at more than $1 trillion.
  • Bicycle & Pedestrian - MoDOT has approximately 600 miles of shared-use paths on the state system, and works with planning partners to create transportation facilities that accommodate non-motorized travel.
Safer Roadways
One moment can define your future
Youth alcohol awareness campaign encourages smart choices
Today's teens and young adults are always looking at what their futures could hold. They are the music makers and dreamers of dreams. All too often, those dreams are shattered by the act of being distracted or impaired while behind the wheel. It only takes one moment to redefine your future.

In the last three years, there were 36 fatal crashes and 136 serious injury crashes involving an impaired driver under the age of 21. As a result of making this wrong choice, 53 people died and 184 were seriously injured in these crashes.

Law enforcement will be on the lookout for underage impaired driving May 3-13 with a high-visibility enforcement campaign. Timing of the campaign will coincide with statewide prom and graduation dates, which are often when teens and young adults consume alcohol.

"This is a very impactful campaign," said Bill Whitfield, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "The futures of today's teens can be quickly shattered by the consequences of one moment - one careless decision to get behind the wheel while impaired."

Missouri has a Zero Tolerance Law. If you are under 21, your license will be suspended if you're caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in your system. Consequences of drunk driving include jail time, the loss of driver licenses or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Other financial hits include higher insurance rates, attorney fees and court costs.

Please remember that a seatbelt is your best defense in any traffic crash. Buckle up and Arrive Alive. For more information, please visit or on social media at Save MO Lives.
Fatality update

Did you know...May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. In 2017, there were 115 motorcyclists killed on Missouri roadways. As the weather gets nicer, motorcycles become a more popular mode of transportation. ALL drivers, including motorcyclists, should be watching out for each other and remembering the rules of the road so that everyone gets to their destination safely.

Statewide Fatality Totals 
as reported on the 
Missouri State Highway Patrol 
website as of May 6, 2018: 

2018 Totals as of 5-6-18 - 255
2017 Totals as of 5-6-17 - 295
2016 Totals as of 5-6-16 - 287
2015 Totals as of 5-6-15 - 258
2014 Totals as of 5-6-14 - 225
2013 Totals as of 5-6-13 - 196

Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270