Drivers urged to watch for mowing operations across the region

August 29, 2019 - Southwestern Colorado - Never pass unless it is safe and legal within a passing zone

Mowing 8-29-19.jpg

CDOT PHOTO: Mowing operations on CO Highway 140 in La Plata County, southwest Colorado.

SOUTHWEST & SOUTH-CENTRAL COLORADO — The Colorado Department of Transportation is urging motorists to watch out for maintenance crews performing the perennial task of mowing vegetation along highways. For the remainder of the summer and into the coming fall months, the traveling public will encounter crews with large mowing equipment used to manage and cut high grass and other plants that grow along the sides of the roads. 

This equipment moves at a slower rate than the speed limit. Warning signs are posted at both ends of the operations to caution motorists to slow down. 

“For drivers’ safety and for our workers’ safety, we ask travelers pay attention, lower their speed and be patient as they approach crews and moving equipment,” said CDOT Maintenance Foreman, Phillip Bergt. “If the operations are encountered on a two lane road, never pass unless it is safe and legal within a passing zone with no oncoming traffic.”

There are several benefits to mowing that help keep a safe driving environment on highways. By cutting high grass and other vegetation, clear sight distances can be maintained for motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and even animals. 

“When grass grows too high you simply can’t see who or what could be on the side of the road. That could be someone walking, riding their bike or a parked car. And it is very common for wildlife to unexpectedly run into the highway,” added Bergt. “Mowing down tall plants increases visibility and ensures that road signs can be seen clearly.”

Keeping vegetation cut low to the ground also helps control the spread of noxious weeds and reduces the risk of grass fires. 



Travelers are urged to “know before you go.” Gather information about weather forecasts and anticipated travel impacts and current road conditions prior to hitting the road. CDOT resources include:


Earlier this year, CDOT recently its Whole System — Whole Safety initiative to heighten safety awareness. This initiative takes a systematic, statewide approach to safety combining the benefits of CDOT’s programs that address driving behaviors, our built environment and the organization's operations. The goal is to improve the safety of Colorado’s transportation network by reducing the rate and severity of crashes and improving the safety of all transportation modes. The program has one simple mission—to get everyone home safely.


CDOT has approximately 3,000 employees located throughout Colorado, and manages more than 23,000 lane miles of highway and 3,429 bridges. CDOT also manages grant partnerships with a range of other agencies, including metropolitan planning organizations, local governments and airports. It also administers Bustang, the state-owned and operated inter-regional express service. Governor Polis has charged CDOT to further build on the state’s inter-modal mobility options.