Mowing your footpath can cost you big time

THIS is an open letter to all candidates for the Somerset Regional Council elections this March for their comments and a warning to all residents of the shire concerning the financial cost to them if they mow the footpath fronting their property.

While doing just this in front of my property the ride on mower threw up a stone which broke the rear window of a neighbour's vehicle.

This vehicle was an exotic sports car with a vinyl roof with the rear glass "welded" into the roof's fabric.

One quoted cost of replacement of the vinyl roof was in excess of $7000.

The glass could not be replaced independently. Fortunately for me, the owner's insurers did the right thing.

I contacted the Somerset Regional Council regarding this matter to ascertain what coverage, if any, was provided to the residents in this situation.

Council's reply was "This is a civil matter to be dealt with between the property owners."

Now, had the accident caused injury to a person, say for example, had the stone taken out the eye of a child or adult, the following legal battle would likely see me without a house or any savings/superannuation left.

Council, in its wisdom, only mows the footpaths in front of "certain" properties.

So, it would appear that not all property owners are treated, or viewed by council, in the same way.

As an adjunct to this problem, using a ride on mower on a footpath is in breach of the Traffic Act unless it is registered.

Therefore, not only are you without any insurance cover while mowing the footpath, you could be fined for driving an uninsured, unregistered vehicle.

We will hear a lot from the candidates in the build up to the forthcoming election and I, and others, would like to hear their response recorded in this newspaper to this ongoing problem.

Until then ask yourself this question: "Can I afford to mow my footpath"?

In the intervening time canvas the candidates yourselves. We can only change bad council policy if we all pursue the matter.



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