Is Blowing Grass Clippings in the Road Illegal in North Carolina?

The sound of lawnmowers around the neighborhood, especially during summers, may seem familiar and harmless. But sadly, it is quite dangerous for approaching motorcycles. As lawns get trimmed, grass clippings are often blown and left on roads, which can lead to severe injuries to motorcyclists and even result in death. Most motorcyclists agree that hitting grass clippings in the road is just like hitting black ice. It’s that dangerous because navigating over slick ice is not easy.

Let’s explain it further:

Grass and grass clippings are nearly 85% water. Regardless of whether they are wet or dry, when grass clippings are in the roadways, they can pose a danger to anyone passing by, especially motorcyclists. When grass clippings come between the tires of a motorcycle and the pavement, it poses a safety risk. For example, if a motorcyclist comes upon them suddenly after a curve and doesn’t have time to slow their motorcycle, it can result in loss of traction, thus causing a wreck. The motorcyclist may then turn on the side, strike a tree, collide with another vehicle, or drive into a ditch.

With just two tires, a motorcycle needs constant traction to remain stable and upright on the road. The tires need to connect as well as stick to the asphalt for safe and controlled operation. And do you know what that means? It means that anything that interferes with the connect patch between the road and the motorcycle tires can put the rider in danger as they can lose control and thus, lead to a wreck. Therefore, it is essential to mow responsibly and ensure that the clippings don’t blow in the road.

Is Blowing Grass Clippings in the road illegal in NC?

It is indeed illegal to blow grass clippings onto a road in many states and jurisdictions in the US; however, there is no law against the practice at the state level in North Carolina.

In other words, blowing grass clippings in the road doesn’t specifically violate any state statutes. But what’s interesting here to note is that there is one statute about putting debris on the road that can apply. North Carolina law states that you can’t place debris or litter on the roadway.

Although this law has a broad perspective, some municipalities in North Carolina have local ordinances pertaining specifically to grass clippings. This means that homeowners can be subject to penalties and face fines for their actions, depending on where they reside and local ordinances.

For example, Davidson County in NC doesn’t have an ordinance for grass clippings in place. Still, residents living in Lexington or Thomasville city limits are likely to be held responsible for such an act.

Section 10.34-1 of the Lexington code of ordinances states that it is unlawful for anyone to spread refuse or litter in any public or private street, place, or area. The refuse is further defined as yard waste and grass clippings.

Also, to lower the risk of accidents due to grass clippings in the road, Lexington has started to distribute yard waste collection bins to homeowners.

Likewise, local ordinances in Thomasville are more explicit about grass clippings. In section 66-B, the law states that grass trimmings should be secured in a cardboard box or plastic bags. The weight of the box or the bag should not exceed 50 pounds. It should be kept near the edge and not in the street.

How to Keep Motorcyclists Safe?

As most lawn care experts say, it’s best to leave grass clippings on the lawn and decompose naturally. Natural decomposition is beneficial and can result in a healthier lawn.

However, for those homeowners who don’t like or want to have grass clippings on their lawn, they can use it as compost or mulch for garden beds, or place it in green recycling. Simply stated, it should not be blown into the road. Homeowners can also position lawn mowers so that the chute that expels grass clippings is directed to the yard and not the road. Indeed, homeowners can’t control every blade of grass, but they can nonetheless prevent a slimy pile of wet grass clippings from depositing in the roadway.

How Can We Help?

If you are a motorcyclist who has been severely injured or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by grass clippings in the road, contact us. At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor P.C., we can help you to seek compensation and justice. Our North Carolina motorcycle accident lawyers in Hickory, Charlotte, and Greenville are experienced in this domain. We have helped numerous clients file lawsuits against property owners responsible for covering the roads with grass clippings creating a dangerous situation.*

Let us see if we can help you too. Our goal is to help clients get justice. We will assess your case and advise you regarding options for a legal course of action to help you fight for the compensation to which you’re entitled so that you can seek treatment and move forward with life.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact our motorcycle accident lawyers now to discuss your case. Let us help you with your claim. Blowing grass clippings in the road may not be illegal at the state level, but locally, your area may have some laws in place which may help you sue the liable party. Give us a chance to review your case and provide you with quality case representation. Our lawyer will assist and handle every step of the legal process while you can focus on your recovery.

*We do not guarantee any particular result can be achieved in your case. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own individual facts. Past results do not guarantee any future outcomes.



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