Objects falling from trucks can lead to criminal counts

You’re westbound in the right lane of Summerlin Parkway on a recent afternoon. Traffic is steady. Then, unexpectedly, an onslaught of leaves flies directly in front of you. They’re landing all over your car, and in a split second they have covered your entire windshield.

Barely, you are able to recognize that the leaves are coming from the truck in front of you. Your instinct is to slow down and turn on your windshield wipers, but that provides little relief. You just cannot see the road very well. In fact, you can’t see much of anything. So your second instinct is to pull onto the shoulder and hope you don’t cause an accident.

Yes, this perilous situation confronted me. And yes, it was a scary moment.

The leaves fell away as I came to a stop on the shoulder, and I was able to see that the truck, which belonged to a landscaper, was now some distance up the road. Leaves were still flying from under the tarp atop the truck. That’s because the canvas covering was not very secure in holding them down.

My impression was that the driver didn’t have a clue relating to the havoc he was creating. By the same token, how many times have you seen a similar situation of garden refuse, old newspapers, garbage and other forms of waste flying off of trucks that did not have secure covering?

Once home, I punched into my computer and learned there’s a state law, modeled after federal regulations, that requires truckers to securely fasten loads.

According to Nevada Statute 484.771, “No vehicle shall be driven or moved on any highway unless such vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping …”

The law goes on to say, “No person shall operate on any highway any vehicle with any load unless the load and any covering thereon is securely fastened so as to prevent the covering or load from becoming loose, detached or in any manner a hazard to other users of the highway.”

Trooper Jason Buratczuk, spokesman for the southern command of the Nevada Highway Patrol, which includes responsibility for all of Clark County, put me in contact with Sgt. Jeremy George, who heads the Highway Patrol’s Commercial Enforcement Unit.

“It’s amazing what we find coming off of trucks, and it’s not just leaves. You’ll see ladders, rocks, mattresses and even furniture items on the highways,” he said, adding that the problem is not only unsecured tarping.

George talked about pools of liquids such as oil and gasoline often found on highways.

“Sometimes people driving those vehicles just don’t use common sense,” he said.

George has 14 troopers under his command who are on the lookout for vehicles that violate the tarping law. “We’ll warn the driver to either secure their load to avoid flying debris or face misdemeanor charges,” he said. A misdemeanor is a relatively minor offense.

When told about the gust of leaves that blinded my vision, George said, “that kind of situation could make it a felony. If flying debris from a vehicle leads to an accident, it would become a serious criminal act.” A felony is an indictable offense.

So what can a driver do if confronted with flying waste from another vehicle?

“Call the Nevada Highway Patrol,” George suggested. “If you can get the license number, report it. If not, describe the vehicle as best you can to the dispatcher.”

Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey. His most recent novel, “Double Play,” is available. Contact him at hjaffe@cox.net.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Camp Broadway teaches kids how to sing and dance
The Smith Center's seventh annual Camp Broadway musical theater program gives 150 kids ages 6-17 an opportunity to learn musical theater skills from industry professionals over a five-day period. Marcus Villagran/ Las Vegas Review-Journal @brokejournalist
Restoring classic Corvettes to perfection
Members of the National Corvette Restorers Society Convention talk about what it takes to earn the NCRS Top Flight Award for a restored Corvette at South Point in Las Vegas on Tuesday July 17, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
'NO H8' Campaign comes to Las Vegas
Hundreds of locals participate in the NO H8 campaign founded by Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley as a response to Proposition 8, a California ban on same-sex marriage. The campaign has since evolved to represent equal treatment for all. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Star Wars and Golden Knights mashup at downtown art shop
Star Wars and Vegas Golden Knights fans attend the Boba Fett Golden Knight Paint Class at The Bubblegum Gallery in Las Vegas, Friday, June 29, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Clark County recount votes in commission’s District E primary
Clark County staff begin the recount requested by candidate Marco Hernandez in the democratic primary for the County Commission's District E seat on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Long-running local hip hop producer wants Vegas rappers to shine
Las Vegas Hip Hop producer and co-owner of Digital Insight Recording Studios Tiger Stylz reflects on 30 years of music production in the city. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Construction for new 51s ballpark underway
New home of the Las Vegas 51s is planned to be finished by March 2019 in Summerlin according to team president Don Logan. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Herb Jaffe Video
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like