Lawn Cutting Laws

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Lawn tractors are intended for use on private property and are not licensed for street use.
Lawn tractors are intended for use on private property and are not licensed for street use. (Image: rasenmähertraktor image by Ideenkoch from Fotolia.com)

Lawn cutting laws are usually local city or county ordinances that limit various aspects of motorized lawn mowing. The content of these laws will vary, depending on where you live. In fact, they can differ greatly between suburbs in the same metropolitan area. One municipality may place restrictions on lawn cutting, while a municipality several blocks away may not. By understanding the general content of these ordinances, you can avoid potentially violating a law unawares.

Acceptable Times

Many municipalities place limits on when you can mow your lawn. The exact limits will vary by jurisdiction. A common restriction might be a prohibition on lawn mowing between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. This is to allow people uninterrupted sleep at night. However, not all municipalities have these statutes. Consult your city government if you are having trouble with a neighbor mowing at odd hours.

Noise Limits

Some cities have specific noise ordinances that prohibit machinery that emits more than a specified decibel level. Like mowing-time statutes, these will vary greatly among municipalities. Some may have noise ordinances, others may not. Some municipalities with noise ordinances may specify different maximum levels or may even exclude lawn mowers and lawn care equipment from the noise limits. If you have a mower that is unusually loud, you might consider replacing your mower's muffler to solve a noise problem.

Vehicle Laws Apply

Lawn tractors and riding lawn mowers are not licensed for use on public roadways. However, when a traffic offense is committed, using a riding lawn mower on a public road can result in additional penalties and fines that are the same as if the offense were committed with a street-legal vehicle. For example, someone who has had too much to drink may be issued a ticket for driving under the influence (DUI) while riding a lawn mower on a public street.

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