According to New Mexico law, drivers must secure their loads or face a $300 fine for littering on state highways. New Mexico statute 66-7-364 states, “No person shall throw, deposit, drop or permit to be dropped, any trash, or destructive, injurious material upon any highway.”
In 2016 nationwide, there were 683 deaths, more than 19-thousand injuries and more than 90- thousand traffic incidents related to unsecured loads, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2018 The New Mexico Department of Transportation accrued nearly 86,000 labor hours picking up road debris at the cost of $2.7-million with an additional $2.5-million dollars spent on inmate labor costs.
NMDOT supports National Secure Your Load Day: June 6th. The traffic safety campaign reminds drivers to make sure whatever they are carrying on or inside their vehicle won’t fall onto the roadways causing crashes, serious injuries or death to other drivers.
“Crashes caused by road debris and unsecured loads are avoidable,” said Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval. “Drivers need to spend the extra time and a few extra dollars to ensure nothing is going to fly off their vehicle and cause a fatal crash or injury to innocent people traveling behind them.”
Simple life-saving precautions include:
- Don’t rely on the weight of a load to hold it in place.
- Use rope, netting, straps or cords to tie loads down.
- Tie large objects like chairs or mattresses directly to the vehicle or trailer.
- Cover the load with a sturdy tarp or netting, especially when hauling loose material like branches, logs or miscellaneous objects like furniture that can fly out of the vehicle.
- Don’t overload the vehicle.
- Always double check to make sure a load is secure.
For more information go to www.secureyourload.com