Renton police to conduct patrols for ‘Secure Your Load Week’

RPD will emphasize educating motorists on proper ways to secure their loads.

  • Thursday, June 7, 2018 8:00am
  • News

For The Reporter:

Mayor Denis Law has proclaimed June 6 to 12, 2018, as “Secure Your Load Week” in the city of Renton. To ensure drivers are following the law, Renton Police Department will be conducting on-going special emphasis to stop violators.

“Drivers must be aware of their responsibility to secure their loads,” said Law in a press release. “Too often we’ve read about the devastating effects a lost load can have on a family, including a tragic case here in Renton.”

During their patrols, Renton police officers will emphasize educating motorists on proper ways to secure their loads.

The police department will also issue citations to commercial vehicles that are in violation of the law.

For years, Renton resident Robin Abel has been leading the way in educating lawmakers, businesses and individuals about the dangers of driving with unsecured loads.

In 2004, Abel’s daughter, Maria Federici, was blinded and nearly killed after being struck by a piece of particle board that flew out of a trailer on Interstate 405.

At the time of the accident, there was no federal or state laws that made it a crime to operate a vehicle with a poorly secured load. In this case the driver was cited for a traffic infraction and fined.

It was through Abel’s efforts in 2005 that the Washington state Legislature passed House Bill 1478, which increased the fines and penalties for drivers transporting unsecured loads.

Known as “Maria’s Law,” the vehicle operator can now be charged with a misdemeanor and criminal negligence if all or part of their load shifts or falls and causes substantial bodily harm to another.

The law requires cargo to be secured by tarps, netting or other tie-down materials.

“Unsecured loads and road debris are not freak accidents but frequent incidents and most are preventable with just a few minutes of time and a few dollars in equipment,” said Robin Abel, “I thank the city of Renton for this proclamation and for enthusiastically embracing this safety message. The city and its law enforcement professionals have gone out of their way to participate in Secure Your Load Day June 6 to 12, and I am so grateful for their support,” says Abel in the release.

In Washington state, the fine for transporting an unsecured load is $228. If an item falls off a vehicle and causes bodily harm, the driver faces gross misdemeanor charges and penalties of up to $5,000 and/or up to a year in prison. In addition, unsecured loads arriving at King County transfer facilities or the landfill will be charged an additional $25 fee.

If you see someone traveling with an unsecured load, the Renton Police Department encourages you to call 911.

Both the state of Washington Department of Ecology and King County’s Solid Waste Division have produced brochures with tips for securing loads, as does. The county has also produced an instructional brochure that is available in English and Spanish.

King County’s Solid Waste Division offers these tips to secure your load:

• Use a tarp. Covering items with a large, sturdy tarp is often a good way to secure a load. Remember to make sure the tarp is securely fastened to the vehicle.

• Tie the load down. Use rope, netting, straps or chains to tie large items directly to your vehicle.

• Layer the load. Put lighter items at the bottom and heavier items on top to help keep them in place. Don’t forget to secure the heavy items to your vehicle.

• Don’t overload it. Cramming too much stuff onto a vehicle increases the risk of items shifting, sliding or falling onto the roadway.

• Check it once, then check it again. Double check that items are securely anchored and any tarps are tied to the vehicle.

More in News

Photos from the viral video of two Renton women surprising their stepfather with changing their last names to his on Father’s Day, Sunday June 16.
They wanted to honor their step-dad, then it went viral

Video of a Renton family on Father’s Day has been seen by over 10 million viewers

Have lunch with Renton firefighters

The annual BBQ With the Badges event is June 26

Courtesy of City of Renton. Reverend James Barnett of Still Waters Ministries and The Reverend Dr. Linda Smith of SKY Urban Empowerment Center accept the Juneteenth proclamation at the June 17, 2019, Renton City Council Meeting.
Moving foward by looking to the past

Renton recognizes Juneteenth for the second year

Own an RV? Law changes around large vehicles in the works

Where large vehicle owners can park in the city may change soon

Photos by Alika Jenner.
Event to push Benson Hill family center to the endzone

The second annual Doug Baldwin Combine event is coming up

Budget troubles on the horizon for Renton schools

Shortfalls could mean future changes to staff and district spending

A high tide at Raymond’s Willapa Landing Park in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Sound Publishing file photo
On the West Coast, Washington is most prone to sea level rise damage

Report by the Center for Climate Integrity shows multibillion-dollar cost of battling back the sea.

Photo Provided by Naomi Parkman Sansome Facebook Page
Buckle up for another smoky summer

Wildfires in Washington will likely roar back this year and into the future.

Stabbing at Cheers Bar & Grill motive unknown

The Renton Police Department released its preliminary findings on the case, where an officer shot and killed the stabbing suspect.

Most Read