ODPS advises people to secure their cargo

Staff reports

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety recently announced that it will be joining other state agencies in recognizing National Secure Your Load Day on June 6.

"’Secure Your Load’ is a national campaign to remind and encourage drivers to make sure whatever they're hauling is secure in their vehicle,“ a release from the department said. ”The Secure Your Load awareness day started in 2004 through the work of Robin Abel, a Washington resident whose daughter was severely injured by an unsecured load.“

Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and "Keep Oklahoma Beautiful" have all joined in the pledge to remind people to secure their loads.

“Each year, debris and trash on the roads cause crashes across the state,” the release said. “From 2014-2018, there were 255 crashes in Oklahoma where the contributing factor was listed as failure to secure load and/or debris in the road. Fourteen of those crashes were fatal and 46 resulted in serious injuries.”

The release went on to say that when people call to report debris in the road way, public safety and law enforcement officials have to put themselves in danger to clear the materials.

“In March of 2019, a large boulder fell off a semi truck on US-77 in Garvin County, smashing through the windshield of another vehicle and killing two sisters, ages 83 and 89, the release said. ”Their family says it's a tragedy that could have been prevented.”

OHP also has several tips for people involving keeping loads secure.

1. Secure your load for sudden movement on all three axes (up & down, side to side and lengthwise).

2. Only use load securement devices in good condition. Chains should not have cracked, stretched or nicked links. Webbing should not have splices, cuts or holes.

3. Follow working load limits on securement devices and when in doubt, always use extra securement devices.

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