As the driver, you are responsible for making sure the load is evenly balanced and properly secured against shifting. Any cargo that breaks loose or shifts during a sudden stop or sharp turn could cause a collision. All loads carried on a motor vehicle or trailer must be bound, covered or otherwise securely fastened or loaded such that no portion of the load can fall off the vehicle or trailer.
The Highway Traffic Act states that any load overhanging the rear of a vehicle by 1.5 m (5 ft) or more should be marked by a red light when lights are required (one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise or at other times of poor light conditions) and, at all other times, by a red flag or red marker.
Before moving a load, you should know the type of cargo you are carrying. Many commodities now being hauled require safety devices for the driver such as protective bulkheads or special lading. Before starting a trip or after unloading, check that vandoors are latched or that racks, tarps and other equipment are properly secured.
Ontario has adopted National Safety Code (NSC) Standard 10 for Cargo Securement, developed and published by the Canadian Council for Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA). Standard 10 provides detailed instructions for operators and drivers to follow when securing different types of loads to commercial vehicles. Every commercial vehicle carrying cargo on Ontario’s roads must comply with the rules set out for cargo securement in this national standard. The standard was developed to increase both public safety and the safety of commercial vehicle drivers carrying loads. To read NSC Standard 10 for Cargo Securement visit CCMTA's website at www.ccmta.ca. See also Ontario Regulation 363/04 "Security of Loads" in the Highway Traffic Act at www.e-laws.gov.on.ca.