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 illegal
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.
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:
- Queensland TMR website or 13 19 40 to raise urgent requests;
- NSW Roads and Maritime Services or 131700;
- VicRoads or hotline 13 11 70;
- South Australia Traffic Management Centre or 1800 018313;
- Western Australia Department of Transport or 138 138;
- ACT Government or 132281;
- Northern Territory Government or 1800 246199;
- Tasmanian Government or 1300 135 51.