Secure your load to avoid litter and a $200 fine

Published on 13 March 2024

secure your load

The Shire of Broome is cracking down on unsecured vehicle and trailer loads that put motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians at risk and create unsightly roadside litter.

Under the Litter Act 1979, drivers can be fined $200 if their vehicle’s load isn’t arranged, contained, fastened or covered in a way to prevent littering.

Shire of Broome President Chris Mitchell said this means drivers can be fined even if no objects are seen coming off the vehicle.

“Even if you are just driving around the corner, it is careless to think you can throw items such as garden waste or furniture in the back of a ute or trailer without securing them and expecting them to stay in place.”

Shire President Mitchell said the problem was particularly bad on the approaches to the Broome Waste Management Facility (WMF).

“People fill trays and trailers with garden and household waste without much thought only for debris to start flying everywhere once they speed up on Gubinge and Old Broome Roads.

“Drive down Broome Road and Buckleys Road, and you’ll see all sorts of things on the shoulders that have come off cars, from palm fronds to larger items such as bins and even exercise bikes.

“All of this litter looks terrible and has to be picked up at great expense to the Shire or Main Roads.

"The Shire alone picked up 18 tonnes of litter during the last financial year."

Shire rangers last month checked approximately 30 vehicles arriving at the WMF and issued cautions to 12 drivers whose loads were inadequately secured.

But it’s not just waste destined for the tip that needs securing. Roof rack loads are also a concern, with unsecured items such as surfboards, ladders, and camping equipment posing a risk to other road users.

Shire President Mitchell said the Rangers will begin issuing fines and urged all residents and visitors to take responsibility for securing their loads and collectively maintain a cleaner, safer, and more beautiful Broome.

How to help reduce litter from unsecured loads

  • Always tie down your load before you take off when transporting any materials. This includes trailers with high sides.
  • Cover garden refuse with a tarpaulin or trailer net.
  • Restrain furniture and white goods with good-quality straps.
  • Use webbing or straps to restrain cardboard boxes.
  • Don’t carry loose tools in the back – use a restrained toolbox.
  • Larger tools (e.g. garden tools like shovels) should be restrained by ropes, straps or a trailer net if the body does not adequately contain them.
  • When carrying loads, periodically inspect your vehicle to ensure it is safe and secure.