Tie your luggage down

* Many loads not safe * Can cause accidents * Check before you go on holiday...

Tie your luggage down

Secure your luggage that's the message for thousands of motorist heading off for holidays in the UK.

The Highways Agency and the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) have urged holidaymakers to make sure their vehicles are loaded safely, to avoid people losing their belongings and causing accidents and delays for others.

Even the kitchen sink
Over the past 12 months the Highways Agency recorded 7370 reports of debris found on motorways. Many of the items found during the summer months came from unsecured luggage and top-boxes, including surfboards, bicycles, a hot tub, a greenhouse and even a kitchen sink.

The Highways Agency says that its officers regularly have to undertake rolling road blocks to retrieve debris from the carriageway and prevent it being a hazard for other users.

Don't spoil the family holiday
Derek Turner, network operations director at the Highways Agency, said: 'What seems secure when you leave home can easily work loose on motorways at high speeds. Our advice to drivers is to stop in a safe place and check your luggage before you join the motorway in case items have worked loose.

'Such incidents lead to danger and delays for other road users, not to mention the risk of losing valuable or treasured possessions on the motorway.'

Peter Rodger, chief examiner at the IAM, said: 'How you prepare the family car can make a big difference to the quality of your journey. A poorly prepared vehicle, or one thats not loaded properly, can spoil the family holiday before it starts.'