PHOENIX (June 1, 2022)—You’re driving along at 60 mph when suddenly there’s a ladder in your lane. We’ve all been there, and for a number of Valley drivers each year, the consequences are deadly.
State and regional agencies will join forces at a news conference to remind drivers it takes only a few minutes to properly tie down or cover a load. Representatives from the Maricopa Association of Governments, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Transportation, and a road debris survivor will gather at 9:30 a.m. on June 6 at the ADOT Durango Maintenance Yard, 2209 W. Durango St., Phoenix. They will discuss a proclamation by Governor Ducey declaring June 6, 2022, as Arizona Secure Your Load Day, in keeping with a national observance. Visuals will include large items of dangerous debris recently removed from Valley freeways.
Mesa Police Detective Nick Cureton was injured in April when part of a metal luggage rack went through his patrol car’s windshield as he was driving on the highway. He will share his harrowing story of survival and recap how quickly such accidents happen.
“We saw more than 800 debris-related crashes last year in the region. Seven people lost their lives,” says Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise, vice chair of MAG. “Dangerous road debris is preventable by securing your load and properly maintaining your vehicle,” he says.
Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Alberto Gutier notes the importance of double-checking large loads before hitting the road. “Loose debris often is the result of driver oversight,” says Gutier. “Spending a little extra time ensuring a load is properly secured with effective tie-down methods not only improves the beauty of our highways, but literally can save lives.”
Arizona Department of Transportation Director John Halikowski adds that drivers can directly impact the safety of others by securing loads. “Whether you’re hauling yard waste or moving furniture across town, please secure items safely in or on your vehicle. It makes our roadways safer for you and all the drivers around you.”
Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Heston Silbert, whose troopers are on the front lines of responding to debris related crashes, also will discuss the importance of securing loads.