Arizona leaders stress importance of securing vehicle loads

“Secure Your Load Day” is June 6
Sean Stoddard is a retired Mesa police officer who was nearly killed while slowing down for a ladder on the freeway three years ago.
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 10:48 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:14 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- If you’ve driven on Valley area roadways, chances are you’ve seen debris that’s fallen from vehicles like ladders or mattresses. Oftentimes, those situations can lead to car accidents that result in injury or death.

Governor Katie Hobbs has declared June 6 to be “Arizona Secure Your Load Day” to stress the importance of properly tying down or securing vehicle loads in order to prevent more people on the roads from crashing due to flying debris. “Swimming pool slides, refrigerators, toilets, furniture — ADOT crews have removed incredible things from freeway lanes,” Arizona Department of Transportation State Engineer and Deputy Director for Transportation Greg Byres said in a news release. “Items that tumble onto freeways can severely damage vehicles that are moving at freeway speeds and can be deadly for the people in those vehicles.”

State and regional leaders gathered Tuesday morning to remind drivers that it only takes a few minutes to tie down their loads. “We saw more than 800 debris-related crashes last year in the Maricopa region. In the past 10 years, 23 people in our community have lost their lives to unsecured loads or dangerous debris,” says Jack Sellers, chair of the Transportation Policy Committee. “These crashes are preventable by securing your load and properly maintaining your vehicle.”

“This was life stopping. Fortunately, there has been a significant pause of several months and I am still in therapy years later. Some people don’t get that opportunity,” said Sean Stoddard.

Stoddard is a retired Mesa police officer who was nearly killed while slowing down for a ladder on the freeway three years ago. He spent eight months in hospitals and rehab facilities. He shared his story Tuesday as a warning to other people. “You can make a difference every single day and it be something very routine like I am going to go help someone move and securing the load.”

Litter and debris cleanup is paid for by a half-cent sales tax which is set to expire in 2024 unless voters decide to extend it.

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