The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

August 17, 2010
What's on the freeway: Everything, including the kitchen sink

The problem: Hazards on roadways involve plenty of items that don't belong in traffic lanes, including a kitchen sink. The sink was reported recently on the eastbound Highway 50 off-ramp at Zinfandel Drive in Rancho Cordova, officials said.

The California Highway Patrol said objects left by motorists who fail to properly secure a load of household items or construction equipment can do plenty of damage to a vehicle, or cause collisions.

The solution: CHP's Valley Division spokeswoman, Officer Jeanie Hoatson, said the Vehicle Code requires that vehicles be constructed, covered or loaded so that the contents don't drop, sift, leak, blow, or spill. If something falls out, she said the driver is required to either remove it from the roadway or immediately report it to the CHP or other agency that can handle the removal.

"For safety purposes, I couldn't recommend that someone run out in the middle of the freeway to get it," Hoatson said, "but they are required to at least call."

The CHP can arrange for a traffic break to move items to the side of the road for pickup by Caltrans or local road crews.

People hauling items can be ticketed for failing to properly secure a load. And motorists who come upon a stationary object in the road are deemed at fault if they hit it. Hoatson said drivers should be traveling at speeds that allow them to stop or change lanes in time to avoid the object.

- Cathy Locke

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About The Public Eye

Welcome to The Bee's newest blog: Public Eye. In the coming months, you will see us breaking news here as well as following up on investigations we have published with tidbits, news breaks and behind-the-scenes descriptions of our news-gathering process. Know of a wrong we could right? Send our fraud squad your tips at:

The Public Eye


October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Monthly Archives