Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Vehicle safety, maintenance and daily inspections
Cargo securement

As the driver, you are responsible for making sure the cargo is evenly balanced and properly secured against shifting. Any cargo that breaks loose or shifts could cause a collision or vehicle rollover. 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. See diagram X.X

The Highway Traffic Act states that any load overhanging the rear of a vehicle by 1.5 metres (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 driving with a load, you should know the type of cargo you are carrying and the required means of securing the load to the vehicle. Many commodities require safety devices for the driver such as protective bulkheads or special lading. Before starting any trip, check that doors are latched or that racks, tarps and other equipment are properly secured.

The vehicle’s cargo must be inspected to ensure it is secure before driving the vehicle. Re-check it not more than 80 km from the point where the cargo was loaded.

The driver shall re-inspect the vehicle’s cargo and the cargo securement systems, and make adjustments at intervals, based on whichever of the following occurs first:

  • There is a change of duty status of the driver.
  • The vehicle has been driven for three hours.
  • The vehicle has been driven for 240 km.
Note: The driver is not required to inspect the load when the cargo is sealed in a vehicle and the driver has been ordered not to open it, or if the cargo is inaccessible.

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 See also Ontario Regulation 363/04 "Security of Loads" in the Highway Traffic Act at

This illustration depicts a licensed motor vehicle inspection mechanic checking a truck for compliance with performance standards.

Diagram 1-3