Grass clippings

Grass clippings a real risk for riders

Riders should add grass clippings to their list of road hazards and stay alert, take avoidance action and consider reporting the hazard to authorities.

Grass clippings can not only be a slip hazard for motorcyclists, especially if they get wet, but also the dry grass can blow up into a rider’s eyes, blinding them.

In the United States, rider groups have alerted riders and authorities of the dangers of clippings on the road.

In fact, some states such as North Carolina and Pennsylvania are considering making it illegal to blow lawn clippings on to a road.

Grass clippings illegalgrass clippings road hazard

However, it’s already illegal in Australia to dump any substance on a road that could cause injury or damage. Fines range up to more than $4000 and/or six months in jail.

Yet we continue to see clippings left on the road by lazy and negligent slashing contractors and farmers, or deliberately blown on to the road by ignorant homeowners.

Contractors and council workers cutting grass on roadsides and median strips are obliged to put out appropriate warning signs.

Riders should slow down and be alert if they see these signs, mowing or slashing equipment on the roadside, or other hints that grass has recently been cut.

They should also do their best to alert other riders either by waving to slow down or maybe posting a photo on social media.

Report hazardsgrass clippings road hazard

Riders should also report road hazards such as grass clippings to road authorities.

Grass clippings are considered as much a road hazard by authorities as gravel, sand, oil or other substances.

You can report hazards on local roads to the relevant local council.

If the hazard is on a state road, report it to the state authorities:

  1. You can guarantee that if it was council workers mowing the grass then you’ve got zero recourse – much like hitting a pothole on a rainy night mid corner causing a crash. The govt bodies have themselves nicely covered against litigation

  2. Good warning Mark. First hand experience – a couple of years back. Not so well lit B road, 10pm, hit a patch of wet tar and grease covered by grass clippings – low-side! Not happy, it still goes on your insurance claims record as a ‘hit road’ at fault.

    As well as the potential eye issue you raise – hence the advisability of wearing eye protection at all times – note Jax Teller had day and night glasses. The blowing of grass and dust could be a problem for riders with respiratory disease such as asthma. Therefore, wearing a bandana at all times – used as a mask while riding (or holding up banks) then keeping the sun off of a bald head is a good idea.

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