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NATIONAL SECURE YOUR LOAD DAY IS ON JUNE 6TH!

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"Secure your load as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you."

-Robin Abel, Founder of Secure Your Load
Robin Abel




For speaking engagements, Robin Abel can be reached at:

Phone: +1 (425) 430-8204

Emails: lazyjane2@comcast.net, officialsecureyourload@gmail.com



Background



Robin Abel is a Northwest native whose life was altered by an incident that nearly killed her daughter Maria. She would prefer to live a quiet life in her garden with her dogs, Mac and Jane, but is compelled to share this story in order prevent future tragedies caused by unsecured loads and road debris.

In 2010, Robin joined forces with Paul Reif, an Arizona resident, after Reif’s son Matthew was killed by an unsecured load on June 6th. Bonded by grief, Robin and Paul have supported and encouraged each other in an effort to save other families from unnecessary pain caused by these preventable incidents.

Since her daughter’s collision in 2004, Robin has changed two Washington State laws and passed “Maria’s Law,” making an unsecured load that causes significant property damage, injury, or death a crime with possible jail time/fines while enabling victims to apply for Crime Victim’s Assistance. She also worked to pass legislation in Alaska with a young woman who had been seriously injured by an unsecured load.

On a national level, Robin has implemented authorization language into multiple transportation bills. The first bill included a stipulation allowing the GAO to conduct a national study on unsecured loads. Successive bills acknowledged the safety issue of unsecured loads and encouraged the states to act accordingly. The FAST Act funded grants to educate the public on the importance of load securement, and the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included unsecured loads, continuing the issue’s eligibility for addition to State Highway Safety Programs.

Robin’s Secure Your Load section in the Washington Driver’s Guide has been adopted by the American Automobile Motor Vehicle Association (AAMVA) as a model for non-commercial driver’s guides. AAMVA has said they will include a rotating question on load securement in non-commercial driving exams in the future. Currently, load securement techniques are taught to commercial drivers but there still exists little if any training for the public.

In 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded Robin the nation’s highest road safety award for Public Service at the Lifesaver’s conference in Chicago. On that day, Congressman Dave Reichert had a flag flown over the capital building in D.C. in her honor.

In 2016, Robin started the Secure Your Load safety campaign to get the word out that federal monies are available for public education on load securement AND to encourage the states to educate their citizens. Secure Your Load also aims to reduce litter on roads; as a nation, we spend approximately $11.5 BILLION to clean our roads and it is estimated that 20-40% of road pollution comes from unsecured loads.

Today, most U.S. states have signed proclamations declaring June 6th as Secure Your Load Day. Robin encourages partnerships within each state and recommends Secure Your Load programs to waste facilities. Education and law enforcement have notably reduced deaths, injuries, and property damage, but Robin believes that while nationwide state patrols and police are doing much to help, it takes us all to make a difference and to keep our families safe on the roads!

What can you do?

  • Talk with family, friends, and co-workers about the importance of load securement.
  • Share this road safety story; educate the public.
  • Learn how to secure your load.


NHTSA’s most recent data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for crashes caused by unsecured loads and road debris show that:
     In 2022, there were: 895 deaths, 17,203 injuries and 98,502 property damage crashes.

Please be nice but bold and speak up when you see an unsecured load. We can all make a difference by sharing this safety message… ”SECURE YOUR LOAD as if everyone you love is driving in the car behind you.” - Robin Abel


'Out Of Nowhere'

'Out of Nowhere'
Twenty-four year old Maria Federici was on her way home from work in February 2004 when a heavy object on the road catapulted through her windshield and into her face. Maria’s injuries were initially pronounced non-survivable. Her mother Robin Abel’s worst nightmare began that night. This is the behind-the-scenes story of a woman determined to rebuild her daughter’s life and change road safety laws in order to prevent other tragedies. Because of Robin Abel’s quest, no one has forgotten what happened to Maria Federici. Out of Nowhere will change your life.

For more information, or to obtain a copy of 'Out of Nowhere', please contact Robin Abel at lazyjane2@comcast.net

Tailgate Talk



Articles

Notable unsecured load incidents reported in the media.


Alabama:

https://mynbc15.com/news/local/road-debris-could-cause-headaches-for-holiday-travelers
https://www.alabamanews.net/2023/03/14/alea-pals-join-forces-in-new-statewide-anti-litter-campaign/

Arizona:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/11/health/road-debris-deadly-hazard/index.html

California:

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/11/21/road-debris-puts-teen-in-coma/

Florida:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-alligator-alley-flying-debris-20161212-story.html
https://www.news-press.com/staff/2646996001/mark-h-bickel/
https://news.wgcu.org/section/democracywatch/2023-02-13/fdot-accident-debris

Georgia

https://www.dailycitizen.news/news/local_news/waste-authority-launching-campaign-to-decrease-litter-from-unsecured-loads/article_8deafe36-af04-11ed-829b-8ff4b0220edb.html

Kentucky:

https://www.wevv.com/news/kentucky/man-hit-and-killed-by-driver-in-owensboro-was-city-employee-clearing-debris-from-road/article_db215bfe-b874-11ed-8195-9fc1d4dc6971.html

Louisiana:

https://www.wdsu.com/article/galliano-man-cleans-road-accident/43178089

New Jersey:

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/26/after-tanker-fire-driver-cited-for-mattresses-on-t/

New York:

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/12/04/tom.brokaw.crash/index.html?_s=PM:US

Ohio:

https://www.wkyc.com/article/news/investigations/investigator-road-debris-costing-ohio-taxpayers-millions-a-year/95-338461968
https://wkkj.iheart.com/content/2023-02-13-trooper-suffers-serious-injuries-following-crash-on-interstate-71/

Oklahoma:

https://www.newson6.com/story/5e3602302f69d76f620319f4/odot:-debris-on-ok-highways-both-dangerous-and-costly

Texas:

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/abandoned-mattress-in-highway-likely-cause-of-deadly-grand-prairie-crash-pd/3030013/

Utah:

https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2021/07/06/jmr-road-debris-from-unsecured-loads-a-worsening-problem-in-utah-officials-warn/

Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report

Campaign Resources



Downloads


Robin's Story (Video)


Secure Your Load Poster


Tailgate Safety Talk


Washington State Driver's Guide


Public Service Announcement (Updated 2024 Version)


Waste Facilities Program Information

Note: For additional information, please download KCSWD Secure Your Load Toolkit, linked below.



KCSWD Secure Your Load Toolkit


Official 'Secure Your Load' Graphic


FARS Crash Data (NHTSA)


2023 'Secure Your Load' Press Release


2022 'Secure Your Load' Press Release


Secured Load Examples





Links


Washington State Patrol: Good to Know - Secure Your Load


2015 National Transportation Bill - "FAST ACT"


Maria's Law - RCW 46.61.655 (Washington State)

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