Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission would like to share that Governor John Bel Edwards has proclaimed June 6 “Secure Your Load for Road Safety Day” in Louisiana.
The day is for honoring those whose lives have been impacted or taken by unsecured loads and road debris, and to make load securement a standard practice.
“Whether you’re hauling a load for a short or long distance, take the time to secure each item properly,” LHSC Executive Director Lisa Freeman said. “Not only is it the law, but an item falling off the back of a vehicle typically carries the force to severely injure or kill someone.”
LHSC would like to remind citizens that Louisiana Revised Statute 32:383 states: “The load on a vehicle shall not drop, sift, leak, or otherwise escape therefrom, except that sand may be dropped on a highway to secure traction or a liquid substance may be dropped on a highway to clean or maintain such highway . . . The load on any vehicle shall be securely fastened so as to prevent the covering or load from becoming loose, detached, or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.”
In addition, the Louisiana penalty for having an unsecured load is stated as, “A fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.”
“Secure Your Load” is a national traffic safety campaign that began in 2010 when Robin Abel joined forces with Paul Reif after Reif’s son Matthew was killed by an unsecured load on June 6. Abel had nearly lost her own daughter in 2004 in a crash with an unsecured load.
“We put on our seatbelts and fasten our children in car seats, so why is it that we think it is okay to leave anything loose in the bed of our trucks and risk endangering others on the road,” Abel said. “Secure your load as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you.”
Bonded by grief, Abel and Reif have supported and encouraged each other to save other families from unnecessary pain caused by these preventable incidents. In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded Abel the nation’s highest road safety award for Public Service.
From 2016-2020, there were an average of 732 fatalities per year in the United States when a vehicle collided with another object that was not properly secured, and another 16,878 people were injured annually, according to NHTSA. Additionally, 16% of litter in Louisiana comes from trucks with unsecured loads.
Follow these tips to ensure you properly secure your cargo:
Tie cargo down with rope, netting, or straps.
Tie large objects directly to your vehicle or trailer.
Consider covering the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
Don’t overload your vehicle or trailer.
Always double-check your load to make sure it’s secure.
Before transporting a load, ask yourself these questions:
Is there any 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, if I hit a bump, or if another vehicle hit me?
Would I want my loaded vehicle driving through my own neighborhood?
Would I feel safe if I were driving behind my vehicle?
For more information on Secure Your Load Day, please visit https://www.secureyourload.