Local bikers concerned about grass clippings on the road

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- With recent rainfall, mowing is on almost everyone's to-do list, but several community members are raising concerns about grass clippings being left on the roads, especially when it comes to motorcycle safety.

"I mean it's extremely dangerous," said Stacy Bartley, a local biker and member of the Templar Knights Motorcycle Club.

"When you drive over the grass and you're on a bike, it's like hydroplaning," she said.

In addition to the slipping and sliding, Bartley said the grass clippings can fly into bikers' faces.

"Riding over it, it gets in your eyes. That's why I wear these sunglasses over my glasses because when the grass gets in your eyes you can't see, you're in a wreck," she said.

Wes Watt with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said the clippings aren't just dangerous for motorcyclists but for all motorists.

"The grass can cover up the edge-line striping, it can cover up the center-line striping, then motorists don't know exactly where they need to be on the road so it risks them possibly running off the road or being too close to the center line, and then we've got a head-on collision all because somebody put a lot of grass on the roadway," said Watt.

The City of Bowling Green does have an ordinance that addresses grass clippings and said if they get complaints, they'll send postcards with information about the dangers of leaving those clippings in the road. Officials with the city said they could issue fines for this, but never have. Those postcards have gone out to individuals, as well as entire neighborhoods.

The city ordinance that addresses grass clippings is BG Code of Ordinance 21-2.04 Illicit Discharges.

The postcard about grass clippings reads in part: "Please be sure you and your landscape professionals don't leave grass clippings on driveways and sidewalks or blow them into the streets and storm drains."

On the other hand, the transportation cabinet has no way to enforce cleaning off the roads, but officials there certainly encourage it.

"We don't have a way to enforce it, even if there is an ordinance or a law," explained Watt.

These local bikers aren't taking the responsibility of safety off themselves, they said they just want to raise awareness about the dangers of grass clippings.

Bartley lost her husband just a little more than a year ago in a bike wreck.

"I was already very careful but I'm more cautious now because I watch everything around me. I replay that wreck over and over in my head and I just, I would never wish that on anybody," she said.

The City of Bowling Green said officials there have also sent out the information postcards to local lawn care companies in previous years to raise awareness.

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