For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2019
OTS Marketing and Public Affairs
The OTS reminds drivers to secure their load
June 6 is Secure Your Load Day
Elk Grove, Calif. – Today is Secure Your Load Day, and the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) wants to educate drivers on the importance of keeping materials on cars, trailers and truck beds secure.
Unsecure loads and truck beds or trailers overflowing with materials can fall onto the roadway, putting unsuspecting drivers at risk.
Unsecure loads have become a growing problem on our nation’s roadways. According to a 2016 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than 200,000 crashes from 2011 to 2014 involved debris on roads. Road debris accounted for about 39,000 injuries and more than 500
deaths over the same time period, the study found.
“We’ve all seen loads that are anything but secure and drivers who don’t take the time to secure their load are asking for something bad to happen,” OTS Director Rhonda Craft said. “It is the responsibility of drivers to make sure their loads are tied down and won’t come loose or fall out.”
California law requires drivers to cover cargo in a way that prevents loads from shifting, sliding, spilling, or falling from a vehicle. Drivers who fail to secure a load face a $238 fine. The law also applies to properly securing animals in the bed of a truck, with violators subject to a $285 fine. All states have some level of fines or penalties for unsecured loads.
So what exactly is considered a “secured” load? It is cargo that can’t slide, shift, fall onto the road or fly into the air.
To secure your load, the OTS recommends that drivers:
- Tie down loads with rope, netting or straps.
- Cover the load with a sturdy tarp. Fasten it to the vehicle so it won’t pop out or fly away
- Tie large objects to the vehicle.
- Place lighter items lower and heavier items on top.
- The “cram” technique is not enough: tightly packed loads can still come loose.
- Don’t overload the vehicle.
- If you see an object fall from a vehicle or in the road, call 911.
The OTS administers funding for traffic safety programs statewide with the goal of reducing deaths, injuries, and economic losses. The OTS is a department under the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA).