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Securing your truck's load in Wisconsin: How to avoid $124 fine

Making sure your load is secure is the law under Wisconsin State statute 346.94 Miscellaneous prohibited or restricted acts.
Posted at 5:40 AM, Jan 25, 2023

MILWAUKEE — When transporting loads in the back of a truck or trailer, it's critically important to make sure all the items are secured properly. Even small amounts of debris falling from the back of the bed can cause dangerous conditions for drivers out on the roads. Making sure your load is secure is the law under Wisconsin State statute 346.94 Miscellaneous prohibited or restricted acts.

(7) SPILLING LOADS OF WASTE OR FOREIGN MATTER. The operator of every vehicle transporting waste or foreign matter on the highways of this state shall provide adequate facilities to prevent such waste or foreign matter from spilling on or along the highways.

According to MPD, this infraction would cover rocks or stones that are unsecured and fall off construction vehicles creating hazardous conditions for other motorists. This also covers vehicles that are equipped to transport liquids, such as oil, gas and other hazardous waste items.

This statue is different from littering out of a vehicle, which is covered under the Milwaukee City Ordinances "79-10-2 Littering on Street by Motor Vehicle". That's a $500.00 fine and has no points as it is an ordinance violation and not a traffic violation.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 739 deaths, 17,367 injuries and 89,915 property damage crashes resulted from unsecured loads and road debris.

Before transporting your load, consider the weight, height, straps and make sure your items are all secure.

Here are tips from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to secure your load:

  • Tie it down with rope, netting, or straps
  • Tie large objects directly to your vehicle or trailer
  • Cover the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting
  • Don't overload the vehicle or trailer
  • Always double-check your load to make sure it's secure

The fine for this violation is $124.00 and is a 0-point violation.

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