Agencies warning drivers to reduce debris in the roadway

OKLAHOMA CITY – Several state agencies are teaming up to make the roadways safer across Oklahoma.

While behind the wheel of your car, you’ve probably seen some unsightly trash or debris in the roadway. It’s a common problem that state agencies hope to fix.

“OHP is excited to have partnered with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office to begin this campaign and glad other agencies have joined us in this important message,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Commissioner Rusty Rhoades said.

Gov. Fallin proclaimed the week of June 4 through June 8 to be ‘Secure Your Load’ week in Oklahoma.

“Unsecured loads not only create unsightly litter, but also pose a preventable safety hazard to those driving on Oklahoma’s highways and to the workers who are trying to keep our roadways clear,” ODOT Executive Director Mike Patterson said. “We’re happy to be a partner in this effort to remind drivers to properly secure their loads and help keep our highways clean and safe.”

If drivers see debris on the road and report it to law enforcement officers, those officers must then endanger their lives to clear the roadway.

“Over time we have witnessed many near misses, severe accidents and fatalities contributed by unsecured loads that resulted in distractions, debris or obstacles on the roadways. These types of accidents are easily preventable by taking appropriate precautions and preparatory actions to make sure that any loose items being hauled are sufficiently secured before departing. The short few minutes it takes to properly secure and double check loads to stay on the side of caution may save a life.” Tim Gatz, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority.