The Missouri Department of Transportation urges motorists to use cation when encountering work crews as road striping operations begin throughout the state.

MoDOT is currently striping two-lane roadways and will be working on freeways and expressways in June, July and August. Drivers will see slow-moving caravans of trucks refreshing the lines on the roadway. 

The department said striping crews must travel slowly as they paint roadway markings to ensure a quality line. The striping trains move between 8 and 12 mph when workers are painting white and yellow lines on the highways.

The trucks have flashing lights, boards with flashing arrows and signs that say, “Slow Vehicles” and “Wet Paint.” MoDOT said drivers should slow down as soon as they see the lights and signs and keep their distance until it is safe to go around the trucks.      

The department said crisp, easy-to-see striping is a significant safety feature on roadways. MoDOT uses paint embedded with glass beads. The beads reflect headlight beams back in the direction of the motorist to make the stripes more visible, especially at night, wet road or low light conditions, the department said. 

Most of the striping is done during daylight hours; however, it is not uncommon to see crews working at night on interstate highways and other high-volume divided highways. Rain or very damp conditions will cancel or cut short any striping work that is scheduled.

The department said on four-lane divided highways, drivers should pull around the striping train by merging carefully into the open lane, passing all the trucks in the train before moving back into the driving lane. 

On two-lane highways, drivers should stay behind the last truck in the striping train. This vehicle is placed well behind the striping truck to give the new paint the few minutes it needs to dry. If traffic backs up behind the striping train, MoDOT crews will pull off the road where it is safe to do so to let congestion clear.

MoDOT uses water-based paint in all its highway operations. MoDOT said drivers should clean their car as quickly as possible with a high-powered water hose, such as those used in car washes, if they happen to drive through the wet paint.

Scheduled striping operations are posted on MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map at traveler.modot.org.