The New Mexico Department of Transportation is issuing a reminder for travelers to secure loads to their vehicles while on the road this summer season.
NMDOT wants drivers to prevent debris from making its way onto roadways this year as part of National Secure Your Load Day on June 6. Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval said in a statement that crashes caused by debris on the road are preventable.
“Drivers need to spend the extra time and a few extra dollars to ensure nothing is going to fly off their vehicle and cause a fatal crash or injury to innocent people traveling behind them,” said Sandoval in a statement.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 683 deaths, over 19,000 injuries, and more than 90,000 traffic tickets related to unsecured loads in 2016. The NMDOT reports that almost 86,000 labor hours picking up road debris was accrued in 2018, costing $2.7 million and an additional $2.5 million on inmate labor costs.
A New Mexico statute also states that “no person shall throw, deposit, drop or permit to be dropped, any trash, or destructive, injurious material upon any highway”.
The NMDOT encourage travelers to do the following when securing a load to a vehicle:
- Don’t rely on the weight of a load to keep it in place
- Use netting, ropes, or cords to tie loads down
- Tie large objects such as mattresses directly to the vehicle
- Cover the load with a netting or tarp when hauling loose items such as branches, logs or furniture that can fly out of the vehicle
- Don’t overload the vehicle
- Always double check that the load is secure before traveling