Riders say grass clippings left on road endanger motorcyclists

Published: Apr. 25, 2019 at 4:36 PM CDT
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Eric Beach of Franklin, Ohio posted a somber message on his Facebook page in August of 2017.

Beach wrote the son of a friend had died in a motorcycle crash “because of grass clippings being on the road.”

Social media contains countless other similar stories, along with warnings from law enforcement.

In Cadiz, Kentucky, the Trigg County Sheriff’s Office on its Facebook page three weeks ago asked the public to “be courteous when mowing your grass” because “clippings are extremely slippery on the roadway for motorcycles.”

“According to Illinois law, it is illegal to deposit grass clippings onto any public roadway as it may cause injury to motorists or become a traffic hazard,” the Illinois State Police District 10 office posted last July.

“Please do your part to eliminate this potentially dangerous situation for motorcyclists.”

A.B.A.T.E of Iowa, a motorcyclists’ rights group, asks homeowners mowing their lawns to blow grass clippings away from the road because, especially on a curve, clippings “could cause the road to be slippery enough for a rider to lose control and go down.”

Davis Law Group, a Seattle law firm that represents motorcyclists injured in crashes, states on its website that grass clippings “are about 85 percent water” and can “act as a sheet of ice.”

The City of Davenport states on its website that blowing grass clippings into the street is considered a violation of the Clean Water Act and violators can face fines ranging from $100 to $250.