Secure your load

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Photo taken on 10th NE in Shoreline in 2010
By Jim Talbot

Has a pebble ever hit your windshield? Isn’t it startling how such a tiny object can inflict such immediate and significant damage?

Now imagine instead of a pebble hitting your windshield, it’s a ladder, wheelbarrow, hammer, stack of wood, mattress or a piece of furniture. Now, imagine you and your family are driving behind a car carrying one (or more) of those objects.

Secure Your Load was founded by Robin Abel of Seattle, after an unsecured load left her daughter catastrophically injured.

Increasing the penalties for the "Secure Your Load" bill which successfully passed the Washington state legislature in 2006 was sponsored by 32nd District legislator Rep. Ruth Kagi, who worked with Robin Abel to get it through the legislature.

Rep. Ruth Kagi from the 32nd legislative district was the prime sponsor of a bill to increase penalties for violations of the Secure Your Load bill when failure to comply caused injury or death, and she worked closely with Robin Abel to get it passed in the legislature.

According to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study, there are 51,000 incidents every year, killing 440 and injuring 10,000. What’s worse? In states where unsecured loads are only subject to a meager littering fine, the incidents are much greater.

Speaking of litter: 40% of the litter on our roadways comes from unsecured loads and our states spend a combined $11.5 billion (that’s billion with a B) annually on litter clean-up.

Here’s another startling fact: A 20-pound object at 55 MPH has a force of 1000 pounds at impact.

Says Abel: “We put on our seatbelts and fasten our children in car seats so why is it that we think it’s OK to leave anything loose in the bed of our trucks and risk endangering others on the road?” 
“Secure Your Load as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you,” Abel adds.

The inaugural Secure Your Load Day was June 6.

For more information, check out the Secure Your Load PSA.

Updated to include information about Rep. Kagi 06-12-2016


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