The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is partnering with the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program of the Virgin Islands Police Department to remind drivers to Drive Safe: Contain Your Cargo; and Drive Safe: Secure Your Load.
It is every driver’s responsibility to ensure all cargo is safely secured. Items not properly secured pose a safety risk on the roadways. June 6, National Secure Your Load Day, commemorates people whose lives were impacted or taken by unsecured loads and encourages drivers to properly secure their loads every time they drive.
“Many drivers think that only commercial vehicle drivers are responsible for securing their cargo,” said VIPD Commissioner Ray A. Martinez. “We want our community to know that it is every driver’s responsibility to ensure their load is properly secured to their vehicle to protect other vehicles, drivers, and bystanders,” Martinez said.
In the U.S., from 2016 to 2020, an average of 16,878 people were injured per year when a vehicle collided with another object that was not properly secured. During this same time, an average of 732 people per year lost their lives. Non-commercial passenger vehicles accounted for 81 percent of these crashes, in which cargo was not properly secured. U.S. Virgin Islands drivers must continue to be vigilant to ensure that citizens and visitors are protected.
During the rush of the day, it can be easy to overlook the importance of properly securing your vehicle’s cargo. Before transporting a load, check that your vehicle’s load is secured on the top, sides, and back, and make sure nothing can blow or fall out or off. Ensure your load is safe if you were to suddenly hit the brakes or a speed bump or if you were hit by another vehicle.
Follow these tips to ensure you properly secure your cargo:
• Tie it down with rope, netting, or straps.
• Tie large objects directly to your vehicle or trailer.
• Consider covering the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting.
• Don’t overload your vehicle or trailer.
• Always double-check your load to make sure it’s secure.
For more information on this campaign, visit nhtsa.gov or contact the MCSAP program through Sgt. Joycelyn Lee-Bobb at 340-227-0953; Officer Javon Benjamin at 340-513-4897 or Director Daphne O’Neal at email@example.com.