The Wyoming Highway Patrol wants to bring awareness about the dangers of driving with unsecured loads on the state’s highways.
WHP will participate in the national Secure Your Load Day on June 6th, 2020. Governor Gordon will sign a proclamation recognizing June 6th as “Secure Your Load Day” in Wyoming.” During that day, troopers will be educating the public about the importance of having secured loads through social media campaigns and by posting safety messages on variable message signs.
“It’s important drivers secure their loads to ensure the safety of all motorist traveling upon Wyoming’s roadways,” said Sergeant Jeremy Beck. “If your load is not secure, it may come loose and fall off your vehicle. This can cause serious injury or death to others, so it is always a best practice to check load securement.”
The Secure Your Load safety day started in 2004 through the work of Robin Abel, a Washington resident whose daughter was severely injured by an unsecured load. Her work resulted in federal lawmaker, including load-securing recommendations to the states in the FAST Act of December 2015.
In 2016 there were 683 deaths, 19,663 injuries, and 90,266 incidents involving debris on U.S. roadways.
Information from AAA Foundation for Safety indicated statistics show that unsecured loads are a nationwide issue. Road debris caused approximately 200,000 crashes in the past four years. Out of those crashes, about 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths resulted.
As a nation, the U.S. spends about $11.5 billion on litter cleanup. Nearly 40 percent of litter is from unsecured loads.
“Injuries and crashes from unsecured loads are preventable,” said Lieutenant McKay. “We’re hopeful that the Secure Your Load day will help bring more attention and awareness to this issue. Our mission is to ensure the safety of all travelers on Wyoming’s roadways, which is why we are participating in this event.”
Wyoming also requires motorists to secure their loads when traveling.
Wyoming Statute 31-5-228 states, "No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, shifting, leaking or otherwise escaping therefrom." This state law carries an $85 fine. Under Federal Commercial Carrier Regulations, the driver of a commercial truck can be fined $185 for an unsecured load violation and placed out of service until the load is properly secured.
Motorists can follow several tips on how to keep their loads secure. They include:
· Securing loads with proper ropes, netting, or straps.
· Securing large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.
· Covering the entire load with a tarp or netting.
· Avoiding overloading the vehicle.
· Checking to ensure the load is secure after it’s been secured.