This week, the Washington State Patrol started a 28-day, statewide “Secure Load” emphasis patrol.
The emphasis will run until May 12 and is in conjunction with the state Department of Ecology and Washington State Department of Transportation and is intended to increase road and highway safety and prevent roadside litter, according to a release.
WSP reminds drivers that littering is punishable by fines ranging from $50 to $5,000 in Washington. The largest of these fines are for “lit debris”— primarily cigarettes — and for large items that can cause crashes.
Failure to secure a vehicle’s load can result in a citation ranging from a $228 fine to criminal charges, if items cause property damage or injuries.
A vehicle’s load is secure when no cargo can slide, shift, fall, sift onto the roadway, or become airborne.
Five Tips to secure your load:
WSDOT says that electronic highway message signs will remind drivers where emphasis patrols are occurring.
The emphasis patrols will end on May 12, but WSP says drivers with unsecured loads should always anticipate the attention of troopers as well as environmental and road officials working together to keep roadways safe, clean, and clear.