Caltrans reminds motorists to secure loads before traveling

Litter collects near a storm drain on an exit ramp in Stockton.

SACRAMENTO – Transporting unsecured loads is unsafe, illegal, and pollutes California’s roads and waterways. Caltrans wants motorists and commercial vehicle operators to make sure their load is secure before driving. Vehicle-related debris can create unsafe conditions for motorists, contributes to litter on highways and could lead to pollution in waterways.

“This is a safety, environmental, economic, and aesthetic issue that is 100 percent preventable,” said Caltrans director Malcolm Dougherty. “We spent more than $67 million last year picking up litter and debris. By properly securing your load before you head out, you can help keep our roads clean and safe, and also protect our waterways from being contaminated.”

A load is secure when nothing can slide, shift, fall, or sift onto the roadway. Here are some tips on properly securing a load:

  • Tie it down. Large or heavy items should be secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords, or netting. Make sure tie down materials are appropriate for the weight they are securing and can withstand highway speeds.
  • Cover it up. For loose items like grass or tree clippings, a tarp or netting can be used to keep items in place.
  • Don’t dispose of litter in pick-up beds. Litter in pick-up beds can fly out when the vehicle reaches highway speed. Dispose of litter properly.
  • Re-check your load. Loads can shift and settle during a trip. If safe to do so, re-check the load during the trip. Tighten straps that may have loosened and adjust the load if necessary.

Litter and debris can clog stormwater drains and may end up in waterways. Caltrans’ Protect Every Drop campaign educates Californians about the sources and pathways of stormwater pollution, and to change behaviors of the public to reduce stormwater pollution in and around the state highway system. Go to for more information.

According to California vehicle code 23115 (a) – “No vehicle transporting garbage, swill, used cans or bottles, wastepapers, waste cardboard, ashes, refuse, trash, or rubbish, or any noisome, nauseous, or offensive matter, or anything being transported for disposal or recycling shall be driven or moved upon any highway unless the load is totally covered in a manner that will prevent the load or any part of the load from spilling or falling from the vehicle.”

3 Responses to "Caltrans reminds motorists to secure loads before traveling"

  1. Lee   June 19, 2017 at 10:40 am

    Yes, and what would be nice to see is CHP officers pulling these sons a [beep] over and citing them instead of seemingly always and only the speeding motorist.

    CHP, please enforce ALL laws! Thank you.

  2. Resident and Vet   June 21, 2017 at 4:42 pm

    Lee, your right. If you spend anytime traveling the freeways, you see this on a daily baises.

    This is why such honest statements are proven right. How many times, daily, and many times, heading south, do you see a mini-pickup truck, with stacked, 8 feet high, home appliances?

    Heck, on the special occassions, the vehicles are listing one way or the other because of all the weight and balance issues of the driver and transporter.

    Thank goodness that the ICE, BP, and the CHP have spent many more hours, on 15, pulling over and going through cars that seem questionable in appearance. Now if they can do something about this problem, the freeways will return to a bit safer roadway.

  3. Idiottruckers   June 24, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    I agree. I had a very very frightening experience with one irresponsible idiot that decide to infect mine and my friends day recently. We were coming back here to Fallbrook on the 15North and some guy had all these copper pipes and all sorts of crap not tied down or bungeed properly. When we started to pick up speed entering the freeway, suddenly all this crap flew off the truck and towards our windshield and my friend’s two year old in the backseat…
    I literally just ducked and covered my face just in the nick of time. The baby ducked also thank God. One pipe knocked our mirror clean off the car and we ran over a huge box filled with metal crap in it and another huge flying object smashed the windshield, bounced off and rolled towards another motorist who then crashed because she slowed down too fast to avoid all the flying debris. But then got rearended because the person behind her didn’t have enough time to slow down quick enough. That idiot caused three cars some pretty hefty damages and he didn’t even realize what he did because it just flew out of the pack of his truck. So we called the 1-800 number to the company and reported him for being an idiot. He was just bee bopping along for miles not noticing all the crashes behind him and damage he was doing. He didn’t have anything stacked properly or secured or tied down at all.


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