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Trucks should keep material from blowing out

I was driving on I-5 near Central Point when I passed a truck carrying a load of what looked like dirt and rocks. Material was blowing out and hitting the windshields of other drivers. The truck had a sign that said, "Construction vehicle. Do not follow." Shouldn't the truck driver have to cover his load instead of relying on a sign?

— Roger, Medford

Gary Leaming, spokesman for the Oregon Department of Transportation, said companies have a responsibility to make sure material isn't blowing out onto roads.

"Vehicles carrying sand and gravel can operate without a cover on their load as long as the material isn't blowing out," he said. "If they're hauling asphalt or rock, that won't blow out. But sawdust will blow out."

He said the sign is actually meant to warn other drivers not to accidentally follow a truck onto a construction site.

"The 'Do Not Follow' sign does not absolve the contractor truck of liability," Leaming said.

He said if material is blowing out of a truck and could damage windshields, people in other vehicles should get the name of the trucking company and remember the time, date and location of the incident, then call the trucking company to notify owners of the problem.

If the situation is egregious, people can also call local law enforcement or ODOT, Leaming said.

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