FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACTS: Kelly Taft, Communications Manager, (602) 452-5020
Or Veronica Graves, Olson Communications, (480) 368-7999
PHOENIX (August 17, 2012) — It’s the start of a new school year and for college-bound students, that means it’s time to move into dorms and apartments. Arizona State University’s move-in days for campus residents starts Friday, Aug. 17, and Valley residents will soon be seeing cars and trucks filled with suitcases, boxes, TVs, mini fridges, and more traveling down our freeways. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Don’t Trash Arizona campaign offers tips for students and parents to keep the roadways litter-free and safe from falling debris during college move-ins.
“Keep in mind that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that passengers and cargo are secured. In 2010, 83 accidents occurred due to falling objects on freeways in Maricopa County, and on average, one person dies in our county every year from these debris-related accidents; that is one too many,” said Avondale Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers, chair of MAG. “By ensuring all belongings are safely secured at the beginning of the move, drivers can help keep our roadways clean, ensure public safety and protect themselves from paying ‘unsecured load’ fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. Be the example for your children and others.”
Students and parents can keep freeways clear of debris by following these tips for securing their loads:
- Tie It Down. Large and heavy items should be firmly secured with solid straps, rope, bungee cords, or netting. These items should be tied down directly to the vehicle and be able to withstand winds of 70 mph on the freeway. At 70 mph, that wind is providing about a 20-lbs-per-square-foot push on those loads, which can dislodge items and push them right off the vehicle.
- Cover It Up. For loose, lighter items such as futon cushions, drivers should use a sturdy plastic or canvas tarp or netting to keep items in place.
- Don't Overload. Keep material level with truck bed or trailer unless tied down, netted or tarped. Materials below the truck bed should also be secured if there’s any chance of them blowing out or falling from the vehicle
- Double-Check. Before hitting the road, drivers should take a moment to double check the load, making sure it is secure at the back, sides and on the top. Drivers should keep in mind that loads can shift and settle during transport, allowing restraints to loosen. Plan several stops to recheck the load along the way.
- Ask Yourself: Is there any chance of debris falling or blowing out of my vehicle? Would I feel safe if I were driving behind MY vehicle? What would happen to my load if I had to brake suddenly or if I hit a bump?
Don’t Trash Arizona offers more information on the hazards of unsecured loads on its website, DontTrashArizona.com. The site also encourages drivers to take the pledge to “Secure your Load” and enter into a monthly drawing of a free Don’t Trash Arizona tarp.
About Don’t Trash Arizona
Don't Trash Arizona is a joint effort between the Maricopa Association of Governments and the Arizona Department of Transportation to address the economic, safety, and health impacts of freeway litter along regional and state highways. The program is funded through Proposition 400, which was approved by voters in 2004. That funding encompasses litter pickup, sweeping, and landscape maintenance, as well as litter education and prevention. Don't Trash Arizona seeks to change attitudes, awareness, and most importantly, behavior, when it comes to roadway littering. Visit www.DontTrashArizona.com.
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