RPU Gardaí halt ‘dangerous’ mini digger in its tracks

A driver towing a trailer with a mini digger landed in hot water with members of An Garda Síochána over the weekend after being stopped on a road in Co. Laois.

Garda members of Laois Roads Policing Unit (RPU) stopped the vehicle in question, having spotted a lack of restraints holding the Takeuchi mini digger in place on the Ifor Williams flatbed trailer.

Upon confirming this, the driver was issued with a summons for a day in court shortly.

Taking to social media, Gardaí based in the Laois Offaly region said:

Laois Roads Policing on patrol this evening stopped a vehicle towing a dangerous unsecured load.

“A summons to court will be issued to this driver,” the Gardaí added.

Travelling with an unsecured load poses a number of risks for both the driver of the vehicle and other road users, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has said.

The RSA insists that all loads must be secured even if the vehicle is only travelling a short distance or at low speeds.

Unsecured or inadequately secured loads can shift when a vehicle is in motion and may cause:
  • Loss of control of vehicle;
  • Objects to fall on or hit people;
  • Road obstruction or collision where a driver is required to swerve to avoid fallen items;
  • Failure to secure loads properly may also result in financial losses due to damaged goods and vehicles, lost working time, clean up costs and legal costs.

The RSA has said that a load shall not be carried on a vehicle on a public road in such a manner that part of the load is liable to fall on the road.

A load must not drag on the surface of the road, so as to cause damage to the road or to be liable to cause danger, it also advises.

Operators or drivers should employ a load restraint method suitable to the load being carried, according to the RSA.

Load security is not just the sole responsibility of the vehicle driver. Employers, vehicle owners, drivers and loading and unloading staff all have a role to play in ensuring loads are secure, the RSA said.