WSP conducting emphasis patrols to show danger of unsecured loads

SEATTLE — The Washington State Patrol will participate in National Secure Your Load Day Monday. It’s a national problem that can be deadly.

Troopers will be out conducting traffic stops and inspections.

A trimmer, fan, and an array of garden tools are some of the things that came flying out of vehicles in Washington.  State troopers put them all into a pickup to show the right way to tie down a load.

“Put smaller items on the bottom, and then larger items over the top, like this mattress,” a trooper explained at a secure your load awareness event.

Troopers say driving with an unsecured load is not only against the law, but it’s extremely dangerous.

In 2006, a man died in a crash after he swerved to avoid a shelf falling from a pickup on I-5.

Two men in a pickup were the first to be prosecuted with tougher penalties under Maria’s Law, named for Maria Federici, who was blinded and disfigured in 2004 when a piece of particle board fell off a trailer and hit her car on I-405.

More recently, KIRO 7 talked to drivers who had a close call with a wooden crate and a piece of plywood.

Troopers say whether it’s a quick trip to the transfer station or the hardware store, you need to secure your load every time.

Last year, state troopers pulled over more than 1,000 drivers for items that weren’t tied down.

To mark National Secure Your Load Day, they’ll do emphasis patrols the next few weekends.

In addition, the state Department of Ecology is kicking off its first anti-litter campaign since 2009, with an emphasis on unsecured loads.

Ecology officials say up to 40% of roadside litter comes from things flying out of vehicles.

Having an unsecured load comes with a $228 fine. And if you roll into a transfer station with an unsecured load, you’ll be fined $25 in addition to what you pay to dump your load.