Archive for category Secure Load

Tarp It, Tie It, Strap It

Make sure your load is properly secured before making deliveries. 

Secure Your Load Week is October 19-23, a time to remind ourselves as motorists about the importance of keeping roadways safe from unsecured loads and litter.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2016 unsecured loads caused 683 deaths, 19,663 injuries, and 90,266 traffic incidents in the United States. The Washington State Patrol reports that debris on Washington roadways causes approximately 400 collisions every year. An estimated 40% of the litter on state highways comes from unsecured loads. In 2019, state troopers investigated 154 collisions caused by unsecured loads and contacted 7,386 motorists who failed to secure their vehicles’ load.

Enforced under Maria’s Law, unsecured load violations in Washington State are punishable with fines up to $228. Violators face penalties up to $5,000 and potential jail time if their unsecured load falls out of their vehicle and injures someone. Maria’s Law is named after Maria Federici, who in 2004 suffered near-fatal injuries that left her blinded and traumatized after unsecured wood from a rented trailer smashed through her car’s windshield on I-405 in Renton.

During Secure Your Load Week, the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Washington State Department of Ecology, and local agencies will step up their work to keep highways safe, clean, and litter free. They ask that you call 911 to report unsecured loads, littering, and dumping.

Unsecured loads cause injuries and fatalities that are 100% preventable. Here are a few tips for truck drivers to help make sure your load is secure:

  • Binders, chains, nettings, and tarps must be securely fastened to the trailer.
  • Make sure unused dunnage, broken pallets, or other loose debris are cleared off your trailer.
  • Freight should be neatly stacked and tightly fastened inside trailers.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle.
  • Double check to make sure your trailer doors are properly closed.
  • Keep your cab clean to make sure trash or debris do not fly out of the window.

Also, ask yourself the following questions before getting on the road:

  • Is there a chance of debris or cargo falling or blowing out of my vehicle?
  • Is my load secured at the back, sides and top?
  • What would happen to my load if I had to brake suddenly, I hit a bump, or another vehicle hit me?
  • Would I want my loaded vehicle driving through my neighborhood?
  • Would I feel safe if I were driving behind my vehicle?
  • Is “secure your load” on my company’s safety checklist?  

Visit the following links for additional information and resources:

Washington State Patrol lost or unsecured load reporting website.

Washington State Department of Ecology litter laws website.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Driver’s Handbook on cargo securement.

King County load securement resources and information.

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Make Sure It’s Secure

National Secure Your Load Day takes place each year on June 6th. The observance reminds us about the importance of making sure drivers safely secure their loads before getting on the road.

Secure Your Load Day began with activist Robin Abel, the force behind Maria’s Law, which criminalizes improperly secured loads. Abel pushed for the law after her 24-year-old daughter Maria Federici suffered near-fatal injuries which left her blinded after unsecured particleboard from a rented trailer smashed through her car’s windshield on I-405 in Renton. Abel’s work has spread, attracting over 40 other states and territories to participate in Secure Your Load Day.

The Washington State Patrol reports that debris on Washington roadways causes approximately 400 collisions every year. Unsecured loads account for 40% of litter on local highways. Violations are punishable with fines from $228 to $5000 and potential jail time for severe offenses.

According to Lieutenant Mark Tegard of the Washington State Patrol “Unsecured vehicle loads are no accident. They are dangerous, sometimes deadly. All drivers have a responsibility to make sure their loads are properly secured at all times.” Troopers as well as environmental and road officials are always on the lookout for drivers with unsecured loads to keep roadways safe, clean, and clear. If you see someone traveling with an unsecured load, call 911 to report it.

Unsecured loads cause injuries and fatalities that are 100% preventable. Here are a few tips to help make sure your load is secure:

  • Binders, chains, nettings, and tarps must be securely fastened to the trailer.
  • Make sure unused dunnage, broken pallets, or other loose debris are cleared off your trailer.
  • Freight should be neatly stacked and tightly fastened inside trailers.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle.
  • Double check to make sure your trailer doors are properly closed.
  • Keep your cab clean to make sure trash or debris do not fly out of the window.

Visit the following links for additional information and resources:

Washington State Patrol’s lost or unsecured load reporting website.

FMCSA Driver’s Handbook on Cargo Securement.

Load securement resources and information provided by King County.

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