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King County reminds motorists to improve road safety during Secure Your Load Week, Oct. 19-25


King County Solid Waste Division encourages everyone to properly secure their loads to keep roadways safe, avoid fees and prevent litter as the annual Secure Your Load campaign takes place the week of Oct. 19-25.


In recognition of the Secure Your Load campaign, King County’s Solid Waste Division is reminding all drivers transporting oversized items such as furniture, equipment, or debris to take the time and use basic supplies, such as ropes, netting, and straps, to properly secure their loads. A load is secure when nothing can slide, shift, or fall onto the roadway, or become airborne.

Secure Your Load is a national effort championed by King County resident Robin Abel, whose daughter was severely injured by an unsecured load.

“Even though the dangers of an unsecured load seem obvious, every year we see thousands of people showing up at our recycling and garbage transfer stations with improperly secured loads,” said Solid Waste Division Director Pat McLaughlin. “State law requires our employees to charge a fee to anyone who arrives with an unsecured load.”

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that road debris contributes to more than 50,000 traffic crashes every year in the U.S. Of those crashes, 125 people lost their lives. The study also reported that about two-thirds of debris-related crashes are the results of unsecured loads and improper vehicle or trailer maintenance.

Even if a person is traveling a short distance at low speeds, all loads transported on every roadway must be secured. These simple tips for securing loads can save lives:

  • Place lighter items lower and heavier items on top to help keep them in place and secure the heavy items to your vehicle.
  • Tie down using rope, netting, straps, or chains. Fasten large items directly to your vehicle.
  • Consider covering the entire load with a tarp or netting. Make sure that any covering is securely tied down.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle or trailer.
  • Double-check that your load is secure.

For more information about securing your load, visit the King County Solid Waste Division’s website at