Vermont bill would boost fines for uncovered loose loads

| 2/14/2008

Anyone who fails to cover certain loads of loose material in the back of trucks in Vermont would face hefty fines, if a state senator has anything to do with it.

Sen. George Coppenrath, R-Caledonia, has introduced a bill that would require open trucks or trailers transporting dirt, sand, stone or “similar loose substances” on public highways to secure such loads with a cover or tarpaulin. Violators would face $2,500 fines.

Exceptions would be made for loads that are at least 6 inches below the top of trucks or trailers. Highway maintenance and construction vehicles also would be exempted.

Supporters say the rule is needed because it would reduce the number of cracked windshields from flying debris. Others say they are sympathetic to those who might have difficulty affording covers or tarpaulins.

The bill – S262 – is in the Senate Transportation Committee.

To view other legislative activities of interest in Vermont for 2008, click here.

– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor