A video which has emerged on social media of a dangerous incident involving tumbling bales of straw has prompted a warning from local Gardaí on the importance of securing loads when on the road.

The incident occurred on the border between counties Kilkenny and Tipperary in yesterday evening (Saturday, September 19), and features dash-cam footage from a driver travelling behind a tractor towing a trailer of straw bales.

However, as members of An Garda Síochána based in Co. Kilkenny noted, the load was only secured with a single strap.

As the tractor drives along some of the bales come loose just as the unaware driver meets another tractor coming in the opposite direction, followed by two cars.

As the driver turns slightly, the bales fall onto the side of the road before rolling across the route. The tractor drives on, oblivious to the lost loads.

Image source: Garda Síochána Kilkenny/Carlow

Posting the video on social media, local Gardaí issued a warning, stating:

“The following video shows the importance of using straps to tie down loads. As can be seen only one strap is been used here going length ways and the driver is travelling way to fast for the road surface.

“This incident occurred in North Kilkenny/Tipperary border area on Saturday evening.

Image source: Garda Síochána Kilkenny/Carlow

“This is a busy period for farms and other businesses; please ensure all loads are properly secured.”

Securing loads

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.