Cover & Secure – It’s The Law

Heading to the Landfill? Understanding how any why to cover your load is vital to a successful visit – and ensure you’re within State of Colorado safety codes.

Are you transporting items to the landfill?Make sure your load is covered, it is against the law to operate a vehicle on the highway which is improperly covered, constructed or loaded. Contents should be covered so that no part spills, drops, leaks, blows, sifts or in any ohter way escapes from the vehicle. The law applies to residents in personal vehicles, business haulers and collectors
What happens it you transport an uncovered load?You may receive a verbal warning, a written notice or violation, a citation or you may be turned away or charged double from the landfill.
What is an unsecured load?An unsecured load has not been fastened in or attached to the vehicle with tarps, rope, straps, netting or chains. This prevents any part of the load or the covering from becoming loose, detached, or leaving the vehicle while the vehicle is moving.
What is a secured load?A load is secure when no cargo or debris can slide, shift, fall onto the highway or become airborne. Don’t be fooled. Heavy items and small loads can still fall out. Tires, pieces of wood that is not secure can bounce out.

Colorado State Statues: Section 5

UNSAFE/UNSECURED LOADS REGULATION

42-4-1407. Spilling loads on highways prohibited – prevention of spilling of aggregate, trash, or recyclables

(1) No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless such vehicle is constructed or loaded or the load thereof securely covered to prevent any of its load from blowing, dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping therefrom; except that material may be dropped for the purpose of securing traction or water or other substance may be sprinkled on a roadway in cleaning or maintaining such roadway.

(2) (Deleted by amendment, L. 99, p. 295, § 1, effective July 1, 1999.)

(2.4) (a) A vehicle shall not be driven or moved on a highway if the vehicle is transporting trash or recyclables unless at least one of the following conditions is met:

(I) The load is covered by a tarp or other cover in a manner that prevents the load from blowing, dropping, shifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle;

(II) The vehicle utilizes other technology that prevents the load from blowing, dropping, shifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle;

(III) The load is required to be secured under and complies with 49 CFR parts 392 and 393; or

(IV) The vehicle is loaded in such a manner or the load itself has physical characteristics such that the contents will not escape from the vehicle. Such a load may include, but is not limited to, heavy scrap metal or hydraulically compressed scrap recyclables.

(b) Paragraph (a) of this subsection (2.4) shall not apply to a motor vehicle in the process of collecting trash or recyclables within a one-mile radius of the motor vehicle’s last collection point.

(2.5) (a) No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway for a distance of more than two miles if the vehicle is transporting aggregate material with a diameter of one inch or less unless:

(I) The load is covered by a tarp or other cover in a manner that prevents the aggregate material from blowing, dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle; or

(II) The vehicle utilizes other technology that prevents the aggregate material from blowing, dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping from the vehicle.

(b) Nothing in this subsection (2.5) shall apply to a vehicle:

(I) Operating entirely within a marked construction zone;

(II) Involved in maintenance of public roads during snow or ice removal operations; or

(III) Involved in emergency operations when requested by a law enforcement agency or an emergency response authority designated in or pursuant to section 29-22-102, C.R.S.

(2.7) For the purposes of this section:

(a) “Aggregate material” means any rock, clay, silts, gravel, limestone, dimension stone, marble, and shale; except that “aggregate material” does not include hot asphalt, including asphalt patching material, wet concrete, or other materials not susceptible to blowing.

(b) “Recyclables” means material or objects that can be reused, reprocessed, remanufactured, reclaimed, or recycled.

(c) “Trash” means material or objects that have been or are in the process of being discarded or transported.

(3) (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) or (c) of this subsection (3), any person who violates any provision of this section commits a class B traffic infraction.

(b) Any person who violates any provision of this section while driving or moving a car or pickup truck without causing bodily injury to another person commits a class A traffic infraction.

(c) Any person who violates any provision of this section while driving or moving a car or pickup truck and thereby proximately causes bodily injury to another person commits a class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense.

Chief George A. Dingfelder

Monte Vista Police Department

95 W. 1st Avenue Monte Vista, CO  81144