Uncovered Truck Law Demonstrations

Mālama Maui Nui (MMN), in partnership with the County of Maui and the Maui Police Department, hold Uncovered Truck Law Demonstrations at County landfills periodically throughout the year to educate residents of the safety and environmental hazards that occur when rubbish, recyclables, and other debris fly out of uncovered truck beds and onto Maui County roadways.

Hawai‘i Revised Statutes 291C-131 designates that any vehicle traveling on a highway must have its load of loose paper, rubbish, plastics, empty cartons, dirt, sand, or gravel entirely covered to prevent any piece of that load from escaping the vehicle.

Uncovered Truck Laws in Maui

First-time violators of the Uncovered Truck Law can expect a fine of $250 to $500. The second violation, if cited within a year of the first, delivers a fine between $500 and $750, plus suspension of the vehicle registration and/or license of the driver for at least five working days.

Drivers are urged to cover their loads by using cargo nets, bungees, tarps, sheets, or rope to keep items in place. Highway and roadside litter continue to be a problem on Maui; in 2013, MMN volunteers picked up 82,700 pounds of litter along Maui County highways and roadways.

Because UTL demonstrations are educational events, no one gets cited if caught without proper coverage for their loads.

What types of cargo need to be covered?

When any load is not entirely contained within the body of the vehicle, it needs to be securely fastened by clamps, ropes, straps, cargo nets, or other suitable mechanical device to prevent such load from dropping onto the highway or from shifting in any manner. Additionally, nothing can stick out beyond the extreme width of the vehicle.


Vehicles carrying agricultural produce from fields during harvesting are exempt from covering their load, but the owner of the vehicle must provide for the reasonable removal of all such produce spilled or dropped on the highway.

Vehicles transporting a granular load consisting of dirt, sand, or gravel on any highway shall not be required to cover their load, so long as it does not extend–at its peak–above the lowest containing wall of the vehicle (like the tailgate of a truck).

A load of rocks, stones, or boulders also cannot extend above the lowest containing wall of the vehicle.

In Summary

If you are carrying loose paper, loose rubbish, plastics, and/or empty cartons, the load must be entirely covered by a cargo net, tarpaulin, canopy, or other material. Same for dirt, sand, or gravel if the load is taller than the walls of your truck bed!

Here’s a UTL flyer, feel free to share.