MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Correct cargo securing is extremely important for various reasons. Whether you are simply transporting personal belongings in the back of a pickup or securing industrial equipment on a commercial motor vehicle, it is the person’s responsibility to ensure that the load does not fall or spill during transport. Properly securing loads prevents traffic accidents and ensures that we keep Alabama’s roads clean and free of debris, helping to protect and preserve our state’s environment. That’s 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 injuries, and keep Alabama beautiful.
ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor said, “We are extremely grateful to have another opportunity to partner with such a great organization as Alabama PALS. This new safety-focused initiative allows ALEA and PALS to keep our scenic roads clean and free for waste related to preventing hazardous waste from falling off vehicles to ensure motorist safety In 2022, ALEA first partnered with PALS to develop waste law brochures which were distributed by our Public Affairs Officers at safety events and placed in our driver’s license examination offices throughout the state to help spread information and raise awareness.”
Speaking about the partnership with ALEA, Spencer Ryan, Executive Vice President of Alabama PALS said, “PALS is honored to continue this partnership with ALEA as we strive to make Alabama’s roads, highways and interstate systems cleaner, safer and more beautiful for everyone. citizens of Alabama, as well as those who travel to and through our great state. Litter and debris on our roadways present unsafe situations for motorists, as well as being unsightly, and the cost of removing litter and debris is expensive for Alabama taxpayers. Alabama PALS annually supports volunteer groups from every corner of Alabama in the removal of highway litter and debris, and we would like to thank ALEA for their support and pledge to help continue and advance the law enforcement commitment that plays an important role in making Alabama real” Alabama The Beautiful” through the enforcement of Alabama’s 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 that strive to improve their environmental and economic impact through a litter-free, cleaner and more beautiful environment.
Alabama State Law allows a fine of up to $3,000 and 100 hours of community service for a misdemeanor count. Learn about the Alabama litter law at www.alpals.org/default/assets/File/AlabamaLitterLawsBrochure.pdf.
Taylor continued, “Not only is it against the law to drop trash or debris from your vehicle, but it can also be extremely dangerous. Troopers in ALEA’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit (MCSU) are dedicated to educating drivers, as well as businesses, about the importance of properly securing cargo in any vehicle or trailer prior to transport to reduce unsecured cargo incidents as well as accidents on Alabama roadways.”
According to the US Department of Transportation, a 20-pound object falling from a vehicle has an impact of 1,000 pounds at 55 miles per hour. 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 sustains damage in Alabama, it is considered a traffic accident and ALEA Troopers called to the scene will fill out an accident report.
To secure cargo in your vehicle or trailer:
- Don’t overload or rely on the weight of your load to hold items in place.
- Secure the load with ropes, nets or straps directly to your vehicle or trailer.
- Cover the load with a robust tarpaulin, especially when transporting loose material such as branches, logs or various objects.
- Always double check to make sure your load is secure to prevent shifting.
- Animals must also be properly secured.
For more information on this and other road safety tips, visit www.alea.gov.
For more information about PALS and how to help keep Alabama litter free, visit www.alpals.org.