Secure Your Load... For Cleaner Roads
Georgia taxpayers spend millions of dollars every year to remove trash that blows from truck beds. Transporting unsecured loads isn't just scandalous, it's illegal!
The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority launched this educational campaign in July 2012 to encourage residents to secure their loads. Especially those visiting local Convenience Centers and the landfill. Loose loads are sources of litter on the road, but can also be very dangerous to other motorist. It doesn't take much time, effort, or money to make sure your load is properly secured.
From the "Keep it in Your Bed... Secure Your Load" brochure:
Download it at the DCA's site (Georgia Department of Community Affairs).
Put a Lid on It!
Trucks carrying unsecured loads dump litter onto the Peach State's roads every day. The Georgia Department of Transportation has spent $14 million in a single year picking up roadside litter and those costs continue to rise. We've all seen trash blowing from the back of garbage trucks, but private pickup truck owners are also partly to blame. Truck owners often use their truck beds as mobile garbage cans. Sure it's handy, but the trash doesn't always stay put. At highway speeds, with vehicles passing and bumpy roads, empty containers and other bits of trash easily become airborne and turn into litter. Weekend warriors hauling unsecured loads of construction debris and other items also contribute to our litter problem.
Driving with an unsecured load can destroy more than scenery. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety reports that roadway debris contributes to fatalities each year. Perhaps this is why officers reported that three out of four tickets they issue for unsecured loads are issued with motorist safety in mind.
Lock That Load!
All of us share a responsibility to Keep Georgia Beautiful. You may not intentionally litter, but if you're not securing the items in your pickup truck, they could easily become litter.
Take the time to secure your load.
- Don't rely on the weight of items to keep them in your truck. Bumps, turns, and sudden stops can dislodge even heavy items like furniture, tools, and equipment.
- Consider buying a cover if you don't often haul large bulky items in your truck. Not only do covers improve fuel economy and keep your goods dry, they keep material in the bed, keep thieves out, and look good doing it.
- All trash or recyclables should be in sturdy bags and covered by a strong tarp or cargo netting. If you throw trash into your truck bed, secure a 5-gallon bucket with a lid in a corner of the bed, as a trash can.
Commercial garbage and recycling haulers aren't to blame for all of the trash that turns into litter. In fact, most in the industry say the small haulers, especially weekend warriors cleaning out the garage or hauling home remodeling debris share the responsibility. It doesn't take long to secure a tarp or cargo netting over a pickup truck bed. Tarps can be bought for under $20, including tie-downs, at most home improvement or automotive stores.
Tarp It, or Get Ticketed!
Careless drivers could wind up picking up their own litter... wearing an orange jump suit. Under Georgia's Litter Law anything leaving a vehicle, intentional or not, is litter and can result in a citation. An arresting officer may impound the vehicle if they item(s) littered exceed 10 pounds or 15 cubic feet and the driver can be fined up to $5,000 or spend up to 12 months in jail.
OCGA 40-6-248: No person shall operate any motor vehicle with a load on or in such vehicle unless the load... is adequately secured to prevent the dropping or shifting of the load onto the roadway. Any person who operates a vehicle in violation of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
When surveyed by Georgia DOT, 77% of Georgia motorists said they have seen something blow out of a vehicle onto the road.
Do Your Part... Secure Your Load
Tips for Securing Your Load
From Don't Trash Arizona:http://donttrashaz.com/secure-your-load/
Tie It Down.
Large or heavy items should be firmly secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords, or netting. Tie large items directly to your vehicle. Small string is not adequate – tie down materials must be able to withstand the wind loads of 70 mph on the freeway. A lot of people are not aware that at 70 mph, that wind is providing about a 20-pound-per-square-foot push on those loads, which can dislodge those loads and push them right off your vehicle. Don’t use restraints if they are frayed, cut or damaged in any way.
Cover It Up.
For loose, lighter items such as tree clippings, a sturdy plastic or canvas tarp or netting can be used to keep items in place. Tie the tarp securely, or it might become road debris as well.
Lighter Goes Lower.
Put lighter weight things at the bottom of the load and make sure they are secure. Evenly distribute the load to prevent it from sliding.
Keep material level with truck bed or trailer unless tied down, netted or tarped. Materials below the truck bed should also be secured if there’s any chance of them blowing out or falling from the vehicle.
Double check your load to make sure it is secure at the back and on the sides and top. Remember that loads can move and settle during a journey, allowing restraints to loosen. If possible, recheck restraints shortly after beginning your trip.
Make Sure It’s Roadworthy.
Ensure both the vehicle and trailer are in good mechanical condition and roadworthy. Make sure your vehicle is rated to tow the load. Drive to the conditions: your load will make your vehicle less maneuverable and it will take longer to stop.
Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle? Would I feel safe if I were driving behind MY vehicle? What would happen to MY load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?
Secure Your Load Brochure (for Georgia): Download it at the DCA's site (Georgia Department of Community Affairs)
Litter It Costs You (for Georgia): http://www.litteritcostsyou.org/
Don't Trash Arizona: http://donttrashaz.com/secure-your-load/
Litter Hurts Utah: http://litterhurts.utah.gov/
Littering Is Wrong Too (Keep America Beautiful): http://litteringiswrongtoo.com/