Alaska State Troopers encourage drivers to secure loads properly

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) As the summer season begins in Fairbanks, Alaska State Troopers are urging drivers to properly secure any loads they carry.

Fines for improperly secured loads range from $50-$1500. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)

Alaska State Trooper Tyler Stuart explained that a vehicle carrying gravel, rocks or silt needs to be covered by a tarp or other materials. Any other large items need to be fastened down securely with bungee cords, ropes or other means.

“We’re not asking for fifty tie-downs with tarp, we’re just taking reasonable accommodations,” Stuart said.

According to Stuart, improperly secured loads are a minor offense, with fines ranging between $50 and $1500 depending on the load lost. He also notes that improperly secured loads are strict liability offenses. This means that a driver will be held at fault regardless of whether the individual knew that their load was not secured properly, or that spillage occurred.

Stuart said, “I’ve seen the entire load get dumped onto the highway, at which point they’re actually responsible for the removal of that. And there can be some pretty significant penalties... and the commercial side’s going to be a whole different ballgame.”

According to Stuart, troopers tend to see more items lost on roadways during the summer, with gravel, dirt and rock being moved... though he said that in the winter, “Businesses or people will be moving snow, and we have these big, large chunks of show that fall off these vehicles. Those can actually present quite a hazard.”

Stuart once saw a truck that lost an entire load of tar-asphalt mix. “The biggest grief with that it took a long time to get it cleaned up,” he said. In larger cases like this, Stuart noted that traffic can be obstructed as a result. “We just want people to make an effort to prevent trash from littering our roadways,” he said.

Drivers looking for more information can call an AST office or consult the Alaska Administrative Code at http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/aac.asp

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