Take a drive down many streets in the Southern Tier and you'll see the leaves that have been raked to the side of the road. I didn't realize for the longest time that they were supposed to be there because the village/town would come by and pick them up.

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Where I live (Chenango Bridge), the leaves aren't picked up so we have to find other ways to get rid of them. My favorite way is to wait for a REALLY WINDY DAY, get out the riding lawn mower, fire up the mower deck, drive through the leaves and let the wind take them away...into the neighbors yard. Ok, not the best idea that I've ever had.

We've all seen it as we are driving down the road, leaves along the road in front of their house. This is bad in so many way including hiding potholes, causing bicyclists to go into the road and clogging the storm drains leaving water on the street and road.

With it getting colder at night, the wet leaves in the road will make it feel like your driving on ice or grease or worse. It can also make it hard to see the traffic lines and markings. When you hear the rumble strips, then you've gone too far.

So we know that it's dangerous but is it illegal?

Is it Illegal To Blow Leaves Into The Road In New York

New York has two different statutes that prohibit blowing leaves into the road:

  • Vehicle and Traffic Law Sec. 1219(b) requires that any person who drops, or permits to be dropped or thrown, upon any highway any material which interferes with the safe use of the highway shall immediately remove the same or cause it to be removed.
  • Vehicle and Traffic Law Sec. 1220(a) provides that “no person shall throw, dump, deposit or place, or cause to be thrown, dumped, deposited or placed upon any highway, or within the limits of the right of way of such highway, or upon private lands adjacent thereto, any refuse, trash, garbage, rubbish, litter or any nauseous or offensive matter.

Other Dangers Of Leaves In The Road

Here's another thing to keep in mind: If the leaves from your yard make a bicyclist crash or lose control, you will be personally responsible. That can include medical expenses, along with pain and suffering that happens from their injuries because of the leaves.

By the time, all is said and done, this could reach into thousands and thousands of dollars.

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