‘Secure your load and avoid litter in the road’

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(www.alpals.org)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Proper load securement is extremely important for a variety of reasons. Whether simply transporting personal items in the back of a pickup or securing industrial equipment on a commercial motor vehicle, it’s the responsibility of that individual to ensure the load does not fall or spill while in transit. Securing loads properly prevents traffic crashes, as well as ensures we keep Alabama’s roadways clean and free of litter, helping to protect and preserve our state’s environment. That is why the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is partnering with People Against a Littered State (PALS) to educate citizens, as well as visitors, in an effort to save lives, prevent damage and keep Alabama beautiful.

ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “We are extremely grateful to have been given another opportunity to partner with such a great organization as Alabama PALS. This new safety-focused initiative enables ALEA and PALS to keep our scenic roadways clean and free of litter in conjunction with preventing hazardous debris from falling off vehicles to ensure motorist safety. In 2022, ALEA first teamed up with PALS to develop Litter Law Brochures, which were distributed by our Public Affairs Officers at safety events and placed in our Driver License Examining Offices across the state to help spread information and raise awareness.”

Spencer Ryan, Executive Vice President of Alabama PALS stated in regard to the partnership with ALEA, “PALS is honored to continue this partnership with ALEA as we strive to make the roads, highways and interstate systems of Alabama cleaner, safer and more beautiful for all citizens of Alabama, as well as those who travel to and through our great state. Litter and debris on our roadways presents unsafe situations for motorists, as well being unsightly, and the price to remove litter and debris is costly to the Alabama taxpayer. Alabama PALS annually supports volunteer groups from every corner of Alabama in the removal of highway litter and debris, and we want to thank ALEA for their support and pledge to assist in continuing and furthering the commitment of Law Enforcement playing a major role in making Alabama truly “Alabama The Beautiful” through the enforcement of the Alabama Criminal Littering codes.”

Alabama PALS is a nonprofit statewide organization dedicated to providing and implementing anti-litter programs for all Alabama counties, cities, communities, schools and other groups striving to enhance their environmental and economic impact through a litter free, cleaner and more beautiful environment.

Alabama State Law allows a fine up to $3,000 and 100 hours of community service for a misdemeanor littering offense. Learn about Alabama Littering Laws at www.alpals.org/default/assets/File/AlabamaLitterLawsBrochure.pdf.

Taylor continued, “Not only is dropping trash or debris from your vehicle against the law, but it can also be extremely dangerous. Troopers within ALEA’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit (MCSU) are dedicated to educating drivers, as well as companies, about the importance of properly securing loads in any vehicle or trailer before transporting to reduce unsecured-load incidents, as well as crashes on Alabama’s roadways.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, at 55 miles per hour, a 20-pound object that falls from a vehicle strikes with an impact of 1,000 pounds. Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that unsecured loads and road debris caused 715 deaths, 16,595 injuries and 82,479 property-damage crashes nationwide in 2020.

If your vehicle is struck by road debris while in motion and receives damage in Alabama, that is considered a traffic crash, and ALEA Troopers called to the scene will complete a crash report.

To secure cargo in your vehicle or trailer:

  • Don’t overload or rely on the weight of your cargo to hold objects in place.
  • Tie loads down with rope, netting or straps directly to your vehicle or trailer.
  • Cover the load with a sturdy tarp, especially when hauling loose material like branches, logs or miscellaneous objects.
  • Always double check to make sure your load is secure to prevent shifting.
  • Animals should be properly secured, as well.

For additional information on this and other traffic safety tips, visit www.alea.gov.

For additional information on PALS and how to help keep Alabama litter free, visit www.alpals.org.