State Rep. Regina Huff has pre-filled a bill to discourage Kentuckians from leaving grass clippings in roadways. The grass can be slick to motorcyclists and that is who Huff is aiming to protect with her proposed bill.

“The bill was at the request of a constituent who lost a loved one due to grass clippings on the roadway, which caused his motorcycle to slide” said Huff, who is the 82nd District's representative in the House. She represents Whitley County and a portion of Laurel County.

Huff’s bill would see to it that the phrase “including unsafe amounts of mowed grass” would be added to Kentucky's criminal littering law.

Kentucky law defines criminal littering as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $500 fine.

“I did some research and found that this has caused several accidents in the Commonwealth, the most recent I know of was in Richmond. Fortunately, that one did not result in a fatality," she said.

According to the Kentucky State Police website, as of Sept. 9 of this year, Kentucky has 516 total highway fatalities, 56 of which were motorcyclist fatalities.

Huff said that since the bill has been drafted, she has received numerous messages and emails of support. However, she also said she has received messages from a few people who don’t want to mow the clippings into their yard, asking her why she would ask them to do such a thing.

“I explained that grass clippings, which are about 85 percent water, can cause the surface of the roadway to become extremely slippery, whether they are wet or dry, and this has attributed to a number of motorcycle accidents and deaths.”

Kentucky saw 85 highway fatalities to motorcyclists in 2018. This was an increase from the 70 reported the year before.

Some Kentucky cities and municipalities have laws and regulations against grass clippings being left on roadways. Huff’s bill would look to make it statewide.

“If it saves one life, to me it is worth the small effort it would take to mow away from the street or roadways,” she said. “Those that have lost loved ones have been expressing gratitude for the bill, and those that have expressed concern regarding the issue would probably feel differently if they had experienced a loss.”

Huff says that she isn’t sure about the bill making it through both chambers to passage as it is a budget year.

“I do know that there is an interest in both chambers regarding the issue, so we will just have to wait and see,” she said.

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