Greeting Kentucky Motorcycle Association members and bikers! Recently there has been a lot of buzz on social media about grass clipping and debris in the roadway. While any obstruction or obstacle is always a potential hazard for motorcyclist, most of the time, our reactions and impulses during certain situations are ultimately the determining factor in our safety and wellbeing. Taking your time on unfamiliar roads, keeping focus on the road and off distractions and keeping a clear line of sight well down the road ahead of us are only small steps in allowing us enough time to make those decisions.
It is and always will be the stance of the KMA to insure motorcyclist rights and safeguards. We have worked with and continue to work with lawmakers to try to find a remedy that is safe and fair for everyone involved concerning grass clippings and debris. As you all know, currently there is no ‘law’ in the State of Kentucky that governs this issue. While some laws ‘pertain’ to, none actually address or solve the issue. So, until a solution can be found, it is imperative for our safety, that we prepare ourselves mentally to be able to address those split-second decisions when we are faced with an obstacle.
Dry grass clippings on a straight section of road poses little to no danger for a motorcyclist. Even wet grass clippings on a roadway are not an extreme obstacle for someone who is prepared for it. Reducing speed prior to engaging the clippings and keeping our bike in a vertical position and avoiding any quick movements will help prevent tires from slipping. Most of the time accidents in these conditions are caused by the motorcyclist overreacting by heavy braking or trying to ‘oversteer’ around the obstacle, either of which can easily cause a cyclist to lose control of his/her bike.
We encourage all motorcyclist to take the time to prepare for dangerous situations in various ways. If you see someone mowing grass into the roadway, simply stop and talk to them. Do not be aggressive or anger filled when you stop, just a neighborly conversation to inform them of the potential for danger that is being created. I think in most cases, if you present yourself in a nonaggressive manor, you’ll find that they are very receptive to what you are telling them. And you may even be surprised to find that the biggest majority of them had NO clue that grass was even a problem to motorcyclist. But the absolute best thing we can do to prepare is to gather a mindset of what you should do and what you should not do when that situation presents itself. Because ultimately our safety and the safety of those riding with us is in our hands and our decisions we make.
KMA Sturgis District Director