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Each legislative session thousands of bills and amendments are introduced in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Only a fraction become law, and an even smaller portion receive wide media coverage.

These bills impact the lives of people living in Pennsylvania every day.

Each week The Sentinel will highlight one bill that has not received widespread attention.

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Count grass clippings among the dangers motorcyclists face daily.

Last summer, a North Carolina television station spoke with two people who said grass clippings caused motorcycle crashes that killed their friends. Other motorcyclists said sliding on grass is like hitting a patch of black ice. Some motorcycling bloggers and columnists have also warned of the danger.

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State Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Washington, is trying to do something about it with Senate Bill 732.

“Prohibiting grass clippings from roadways is an easy, commonsense solution to a deadly problem,” Bartolotta said in a news release. “Land owners have a right to manage and maintain their property as they see fit, but they also have a responsibility to ensure they do not create a lethal hazard for other motorists on public roadways by being negligent.”

Grass clippings on roads can also cause run-off pollution and clog storm drains, she said.

While Bartolotta is focused primarily on grass clippings on roads, the bill would sweep more broadly as currently written.

It would add grass clippings to a list of items addressed by Pennsylvania’s “scattering rubbish” statute. That law reaches anyone who “causes” various items like waste paper or glass to “be deposited into or upon any road, street, highway, alley or railroad right-of-way, or upon the land of another or into the waters of this commonwealth.”

The statute creates a summary offense and sets penalties for a first-time violator at a $50-$300 fine and 5-30 hours of service picking up litter or illegally dumped trash, or a term of imprisonment not exceeding 90 days. Second or subsequent offenses are misdemeanors and lead to a fine of $300-$1,000, plus the possibility of 30-100 hours of picking up litter or illegally dumped trash or a term of imprisonment.

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Daniel Walmer covers public safety for The Sentinel. You can reach him by email at dwalmer@cumberlink.com or by phone at 717-218-0021.

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