Did you know that the Hawaii Wildlife Fund removes an estimated 15 to 20 tons of debris from our oceans and shores each year? Litter, from small straws to old furniture, can block storm drains and cause flooding, or end up in our storm drains and potentially pollute our waterways.
Luckily, there’s a solution to the pollution! One way that you can prevent litter from ending up on our roads or in our storm drains is by securing your load. This means making sure nothing – no trash or harmful liquids – can escape from your vehicle.
Anytime you travel with a loaded truck bed, trailer, or roof rack, avoid littering and ensure your load is secure by:
- Checking your vehicle manual to make sure you are not overloading your vehicle.
- Tying down the load with rope or straps.
- Tying large objects directly to the vehicle or trailer.
- Covering the entire load with a sturdy tarp or netting (which is then tied down).
- Attach a bright red flag to the end of any objects that extend beyond the end of your vehicle.
According to Hawaii’s Statewide Traffic Code, no vehicle shall be moved on any highway unless the vehicle is so constructed, covered, or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking, blowing, spilling, or otherwise escaping therefrom. Violators may be penalized with a $250-1,000 fine and/or suspension of their driver’s license or vehicle registration.
Litter destroys the natural beauty of Hawaii’s highways, harms marine life through ingestion and entanglement, contributes to ecological changes, and costs thousands of dollars to remove. The next time you’re driving with items on the roof of your vehicle or in the bed of your truck, remember to secure your load so that it arrives safely to its destination without leaving anything behind.
Sources: HIDOT, Hawaii Wildlife Fund