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Broken window glass isn't hazardous to tires

I came upon an accident at an intersection in Central Point and was redirected around it by the police and fire responders. On my return an hour later, the scene was back to normal except for shattered glass all over the road in the direct line of traffic. Shouldn't that have been cleaned up? Isn't that a safety hazard to vehicles and their tires?

— Terri M.

The simple answer is yes and no, Terri.

Yes, in that the glass should have been cleaned up, but no, it's not a tire murderer.

Mark Northrop, deputy fire marshal for Jackson County Fire District No. 3, tells us that the responsibility for the glass cleanup falls to the tow truck driver who responds to the scene. If a tow truck isn't called, it's the responsibility of the drivers, Northrop says.

That said, most of the glass on automobiles — the side and rear windows, specifically — is tempered glass, or specialized glass that fractures into tiny cubes that isn't going to act like talons where the rubber meets the road. The windshield is safety glass, or glass sandwiched between plastic, so when it shatters, it sticks together.

"It's more of a hazard to leave the road blocked than it is to leave the glass," Northrop says, adding that certain substances such as oil slicks and biohazards do need to be cleaned up.

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