Failing to secure a heavy load on your vehicle is illegal and dangerous

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – A driver didn’t properly secure a ladder on his truck, and it led to a serious accident on a state highway Saturday.

A man riding his motorcycle was seriously injured on I-495 in Haverhill after he was struck by the ladder that came out the back of the pickup truck. The 38-year-old driver of the truck was fined for “operating with an unsecured load”.

This accident happened in the eastern part of the state, but it could happen anywhere. Driving with an unsecured load puts both you and others at risk. You can also be fined up to $200 if you’re found driving with an unsecured load, like a ladder or piece of furniture. And you could be criminally charged if the object falls off your car and injures or kills someone.

“Whether it be ladders, barrels, furniture… you name it, it’s a problem that we do see and that we do try to enforce,” said Sgt. Jonathan Bates, Supervisor of the Western Team of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Enforcement Section for the Massachusetts State Police. “Unfortunately, we can’t be everywhere all the time.”

Sgt. Bates told 22News they frequently see ladders, furniture, and other heavy objects on western Massachusetts highways. Sgt. Bates also said the straps or chains you use to tie down the items, must be at least half the weight of the entire load on your vehicle.

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