Mass. State Police’s ‘Truck Team’ Cracks Down on Unsecured Cargo

Ever since an ax-ident in July, they've been keeping an eye out for objects that could fall off the back of trucks.

Image via Mass. State Police

Image via Mass. State Police

Thanks in part to an unsecured ax that flew off the back of a truck and nearly crashed through a driver’s windshield over the summer, a special team of state police troopers have spent time cracking down on motorists traveling on highways and side roads with exposed equipment haphazardly tossed in the back of their vehicles.

Officials from the Massachusetts State Police announced that they handed out more than $24,000 of citations in August to commercial drivers in construction trucks for failing to keep the contents in the beds of their vehicles clamped down safely in accordance with state laws.

The Massachusetts State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section—known to many as the official “Truck Team”—wrote roughly 370 tickets to operators for failing to comply. Of those tickets, the special branch of state troopers put 82 of those trucks out of service for equipment and safety violations, they said.

“Commercial drivers, including contractors and others hauling materials or construction equipment in open beds, are reminded that loads need to be secured in the interest of public safety,” police said in a statement.

The crackdown followed a very close encounter when an ax popped out of a truck bed while traveling down Interstate 95 in late July. The ax, which belonged to a landscaper, crashed into another car’s windshield, causing it to spider web before landing with the blade resting on the dashboard of the vehicle.

Police said at the time of the startling incident that if the driver of the car hadn’t been obeying the speed limit, the increased velocity would have caused the tool to go all the way through the glass, possibly injuring the person in the passenger’s seat.