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February 6, 2018

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Your essential guide to load restraint laws in WA

September 17, 2016

Debris flying off the back of your truck or ute onto Perth roads can be a very dangerous thing. In 2015 alone, Main Roads Western Australia received over 2,800 call outs to collet debris. Things such as building materials, greenery, and household items can not only cause disruptions or roads to be closed-off, but can also be hazardous to other drivers.


The impact of unsecured loads

Unsecured loads can impact other drivers in a number of ways, either by damaging other vehicles, damaging property, causing accidents, or causing injuries to cyclists and pedestrians.  Debris can cause damage in the moments it’s flying off the back of your vehicle and also once already fallen off and flying in and amongst traffic or sitting on roadways.


In a worst-case scenario these occurrences can cause severe accidents due to a windscreen being broken, debris flying under a vehicle and dislodging its path, or causing distraction on the road to drivers. In other cases debris has been known to fly through windscreens or car windows to injure drivers and passengers.


On the larger scale, your loose debris can severely affect road networks. From causing a minor delay where drivers need to swerve or drive around something, to causing major traffic accidents, road closures to collect the lost debris, and even train and bus delays as debris is removed.


If this occurs in peak hour traffic, as we all know in Perth, it can mean major delays and affect the reliability of our transport networks and roads.


If you’re carrying a load on your vehicle, remember – it’s your responsibility to ensure it is secure.


Quick load transport guidelines

1.    When transporting items, ensure you use an appropriate vehicle, good quality restraint equipment such as restraint straps and cargo nets, and correct methods for the type of load you’re carrying


2.    Check your restraint equipment (such as straps or binders) immediately before leaving, and also during your period of transport to ensure your load is stable. Keep an eye on the load whilst driving to your destination


3.    Remember, driving with a load means you’ll have to drive more cautiously and account for the extra weight or fragility of what you are carrying on your vehicle. It’s vital to be aware of other drivers and road conditions too


Load Laws

You can receive a fine for failing to restrain your load of up to $1000. You may also find yourself at the receiving end of legal action if you injure another party, or damage property due to your negligence.  


To avoid fines you must:

•    Ensure you’re load does not come off the vehicle

•    You have reasonably limited the movement of your load, ensuring that the vehicle movement and stability is not worse-off

•    If you’re load can be contained and secured within the sides of the vehicle body, you’re generally in the clear

•    Vertical movement, lightweight items, and liquids are permitted to move within the body in a very limited capacity


You can find the official Main Roads WA page on load safety here. And if you need some quality ratchet straps, cargo nets, or other high quality load restraint products for your next trip, contact us at Protect A Load today or call 9256 5200 to speak to a specialist. 

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