Ask a Trooper: Grass clippings can cause dangerous conditions

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, October 25, 2022

By Sgt. Christianson

Question: This summer I sent you an email asking about the legality of individuals discharging grass clippings from lawn mowers onto public roads. They can be very slippery when wet and otherwise are a mess. I never heard back from you, nor did I see a response in my local paper Please advise concerning the grass clippings on public roads. 

Answer: Discharging grass clippings onto a highway is illegal, most cities also have ordinance on this as well. The statue is 169.42 Sub 1, Objects on a highway, which is a misdemeanor offense. Grass clippings blown into the roadway can create dangerous conditions for motorcyclist and bicyclists. Coming upon grass clippings without enough time to slow down, they can cause a loss of traction. Grass clippings are extremely slippery and if the clippings are wet, such after a light rain, the danger is even worse.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)