Officials with the Washington State Patrol (WSP) are partnering with the Department of Ecology, Traffic Safety Commission and the Department of Transportation in order to help prevent accidents caused by unsecured loads.
According to official data, hundreds of Americans are dying every year because drivers fail to secure their load. In Washington state, at least two people have already died this year alone due to this problem.
WA Law Enforcement Increases Patrols To Target Unsecured Loads
Law enforcement agencies statewide have increased patrols during the past three weekends to target vehicles carrying items that are improperly secured.
This campaign is part of state officials’ effort to educate people and urge them to secure their load properly before they leave. If you fail to do so and are caught by law enforcement, you will regret it, law enforcement agents told news outlets.
Hundreds Are Killed Yearly
According to data collected nationwide, over 700 people are killed every year in the United States as a result of accidents caused by vehicles carrying unsecured loads.
Part of the problem, WSP Sergeant Darren Wright told news outlets, is that drivers will swerve to avoid hitting loads that fall off of moving vehicles. As a result, swerving cars crash, putting the lives of drivers and passengers at risk.
To motorcycle riders, for instance, the risk of severe injury is even greater, Sergeant Wright said.
“If you think about a motorcycle -– it doesn’t take much debris to fall into the road to cause very severe injuries or fatalities.”
Reminding drivers that even light objects can cause a great deal of damage, Sgt. Wright warned that drivers caught with unsecured loads will suffer the consequences. In Washington state, the penalty for driving with loose loads can range from a fine of $137 to criminal charges in case the items end up causing a personal injury accident.
To learn more about Washington officials’ efforts, follow this link.