Nantucket Police Announce Crackdown On Uncovered Loads To Reduce Roadside Trash

David Creed •

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Nantucket Police Chief Bill Pittman announced Tuesday morning that his department will “aggressively enforce" Massachusetts laws governing the loading of vehicles to prevent dropping of trash on the island's roadways. The enforcement campaign will begin Friday, July 1.

“The Chief has determined that this aggressive enforcement campaign is necessary after numerous other attempts to address garbage blowing off uncovered loads from commercial and private haulers,” the NPD said in a press release. “Police officers have been engaging with waste haulers in order to gain voluntary compliance with the covering of rubbish hauled to the dump and other waste transfer sites. Despite these efforts and the ongoing educational efforts of the citizen volunteers who comprise the Nantucket Clean Team, the Chief has determined that warnings are no longer an effective deterrent. This aggressive enforcement campaign will continue until there is noticeable improvement in the roadside trash situation.”

The law states that no person can drive a loaded vehicle unless it is loaded properly and in a way that will prevent any of its load from dropping, sifting, leaking or escaping from the vehicle. The law also states that a vehicle loaded with sand, gravel, dirt, stone, and rubbish or debris that could fall on the road, other vehicles, or create other potential hazards is prohibited unless the load is fully and adequately covered.

For a police officer to enforce the law, they are only required to determine that rubbish or debris could fall on the road. The law does not require debris to actually fall on the road or another person’s vehicle.

The law covers virtually all roads on Nantucket, the NPD said.

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