East Hawaii News

Hauling Something? County Reminds Residents to Make Sure It’s Covered

December 19, 2021, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated December 17, 12:35 PM
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If you’re hauling something in your vehicle, especially in trucks with open beds, it needs to be secured. Hawaiʻi County reminds motorists the only thing that can spill from a vehicle is clear water.

“We’re kindly asking residents and businesses to make sure items being transported in vehicles are secured so they don’t become a traffic hazard or end up as litter on the side of the road,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “It’s a simple request that can mean the world of difference for your community and its safety.”

The Office of the Mayor has received numerous complaints in recent months about trash along roads, including bags of household refuse likely meant for a transfer station. State law not only applies to commercial haulers, but to anyone who operates a vehicle on a public street.

Any violations observed can be reported by calling the Hawaiʻi Police Department nonemergency line at 935-3311. The reporting party is asked to provide a license number of the vehicle involved and the location so appropriate action can be taken.

Any violations observed by police during regular patrols will be dealt with accordingly.

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Fines range from $250 for the first offense to suspension of registration and driver’s license and a fine of $1,000 for multiple offenses.

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State law says all vehicles must be constructed, covered or loaded as to prevent anything from spilling or escaping onto the street. The law goes onto say that no vehicle shall be driven on any highway when its load is not entirely within the body of the vehicle, unless the load is securely fastened by clamps, ropes, straps, cargo nets or other suitable mechanical devices to prevent the load from ending up on the road.

The law also says a load cannot exceed the width of the vehicle.

Vehicles carrying produce during harvest are exempt from requirements but the owner of a vehicle must still provide cleanup if anything is spilled or dropped on the highway. Vehicles transporting granular substances such as dirt, sand or gravel are not required to cover their load if it does not extend, at its peak, higher than the lowest point of the container or bed. However, the Office of the Mayor still recommends such loads be covered.

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