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Garbage Trucks & the Securing Your Load Laws  


Question: ‘I have a question about the 'securing your load laws'. We were following one of the big garbage trucks the other day and plastic bags/other garbage was blowing out of it. A plastic garbage bag hit our window and stuck to it and we had to pull over to get it off. It was good that it stuck to the passenger side of the windshield or my mom would not have been able to see. Are garbage trucks exempt from the law?

Answer: Garbage trucks are not exempt from covering their loads or otherwise preventing the material from escaping. All loads must be secure; covered or tied down. If an Police Officer had witnessed the incident, the driver of the truck could have been cited.

There have been numerous tragedies involving unsecured items falling from vehicles and severely injuring other motorists; most States have adopted Laws making it a criminal offense if the falling material/items causes substantial bodily harm or property damage.

If you can do it SAFELY, get the license plate of the vehicle that is ‘loosing its load’ or a vehicle description (make/model/color) and call 911 to report it. Make sure to provide the 911 Center with the roadway/highway you are on, cross street/mile maker/exit number and direction of travel. Most large trucks have  the company name on the side of it.


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