The invention of the riding lawnmower in the early 1800s was a godsend to all of those Americans who would eventually own more acres of grass than their miserably out of shape bodies could ever scythe, pluck, or push mow without suffering a massive heat stroke.
Nobody understands this more than the good-old-boys in rural parts of the United States who have been mowing lawns since they were about seven-years-old.
They might have started with a Snapper back when they were doing it as a kid to earn enough money for Hank Williams Jr. records and cigarettes, eventually moving their way up to one of those zero-turn beasts to become the envy of the town.
But for some of these folks, a riding mower is more than just an innovative tool to help them keep their yards adequately manicured.
All you have to do is spend some time in places like Indiana and Kentucky, and you’ll see these riders used in motorsports races, tractor pulls at county fairs or as a means of transportation for the local drunkard on a mission to snag himself a 30-pack and a pint of ripple.
So, while it could be said that riding lawnmowers are a salvation’s wing for the workload of modern man, many people do not realize that there is actually a bundle of laws associated with owning one of these bad boys.
Here are six lawnmower laws that you might want to watch out for this summer whether you are out there cutting, racing or just on a beer run.
Riding Mowers Are Not Street Legal
Although it is a common sight in rural parts of the country to see some carefree bastard driving his riding mower down the road, this can actually bring about some unwanted trouble with the law.
Depending on the legal requirements in your neck of the woods, it is first necessary to equip riders with lights and turn signals before they can hit the street legally.
Most states also require road-ready mowers to be registered with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and have a license plate.
It’s a lot of trouble and an added expense. So, while you’re at it, you might as well trick that bitch out with some cup holders, a beer cooler and perhaps even a high-powered fan for those days when the breeze outside is nonexistent.
Got to keep that mullet blowing around at all times.
Show the ladies that you could have toured with Whitesnake if not for the fact that the grass needs cut.
And don’t even think about driving your mower down the highway.
Even if these bad boys are appropriately licensed, they are banned from these stretches of road. Why? Because they just can’t reach the speeds necessary to keep up with balls-to-the-wall traffic.
Talk about getting mowed down!
The only exception might be if you had a Honda Mean Mower V2 (the fastest lawnmower ever made).
This bright-red beast doesn’t just cut grass, it kicks ass. It comes with 200 horsepower and can reach speeds of 150 mph…or 264,000 yards.
They’re Not Sidewalk Legal Either
Okay, so fuck it. I’ll just drive my rider down the sidewalk to get to my next mowing gig.
Well, that’s not going to work either.
There are also laws about this sort of thing on the books in most places.
Sidewalks are for the non-mower having public to use to get around town. The last thing they want is some asshole on a Cub Cadet blasting up their ass at around 4 mph and ruining their leisurely stroll.
Not only can you be ticketed for this offense, but the cops can also have your mower impounded.
Try explaining to the old lady why the grass is going to look like shit until you can afford to get the mower out of jail.
You Can Be Charged With DUI
While it would undoubtedly be badass to have a riding mower pimped out with the alcoholics package – cooler, can and bottle holder, and maybe even a secret compartment for your weed – it is important to know that you can still get busted for DUI on one of these things.
We realize that this might be just about the most fucked up law ever written.
Mowing the lawn and drinking beer go hand in hand. And everyone knows that it is necessary to take a victory lap around town once the work is done.
Hell, for some people, their riding mower is their only means of transportation.
So after they finish the yard work, they just zip on down to the tavern to cool off with a beverage or two.
Yet, the police are always on the prowl for drunks on mowers. Just take a look at the news on any given day, and you’ll see that some poor bastard was arrested for driving one drunk.
Therefore, if you plan on getting smashed while cutting the grass, it might be a good idea to keep the mower in the yard. You can get as drunk as you want there.
Riding Mowers Can’t Be Driven Around On A Suspended License
A lot of people use their riding mowers to get around after a DUI causes them to have their license suspended.
This doesn’t fly either.
Get pulled over for driving a mower on a suspended license, and the police are going to take your ass to jail, impound your mower and laugh at the sheer idiocy of the situation the entire time.
Get caught with illegal drugs and, oh boy, you’ll never see that fucking mower again.
The good news is, we now live in a day and age where there are Uber and delivery services (even for alcohol).
It’s probably a good idea to use these things until the judge reinstates your driving privileges.
Riding Mowers Are One Seaters For A Reason
Most of us realize that it might not be safe for more than one person to ride a mower at a time. But I bet you didn’t know that there was actually a law against it.
It’s one of those statutes put into place to protect children from having to live out the rest of their days as amputees.
It’s insane to imagine, but 600 kids (mostly under the age of 10) lose a body part each year in the United States as a result of a riding lawnmower.
Sure, it might be cute when grandpa mows the lawn with little Billy on his lap, but there is always a possibility the youngster could end up slipping underneath the mower and getting his feet ripped off.
The risk of amputation increases exponentially if grandpa just so happens to be one of those with a beer cooler on the back of his Toro.
Trust us, you don’t want to be this guy.
Mowers Come With Age Restrictions
The grass is taller than it should be, but you’d rather sit inside all day drinking beer and watching the Eagles documentary on Netflix.
Just tell your young son to get his ass out there and mow the lawn, right? Wrong.
In some states, laws require riding lawnmower operators to be a certain age. It’s not like it was back in the day, a lot of states now need a person to be at least 16 years old before they are legally allowed to mow.
With that in mind, it is probably a good idea to find out the age restrictions in your community before sending the boy outside to do your dirty work.
Because you just know that some nosy neighbor is going to call the law or Child Protective Services on you if you don’t.
The cops won’t give two-flying shits either when you attempt to explain that you were only trying to teach your son the value of a hard day’s work.
And above everything else, you don’t want to explain to your wife that the kid got taken away because you fucking love the Eagles!
Mike Adams is a freelance writer for High Times, Cannabis Now, and Forbes. You can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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