How to safely carry a Christmas tree on or in your car
Is it legal to tie a Christmas tree to your car’s roof? What if it’s sticking out of the boot? Know the road rules so you can take your tree home safely without copping a fine.
There’s nothing like the smell of a fresh pine tree to put you in the mood for Christmas, but first you need to get your tree home safely.
Each month 80 tonnes of debris is removed from roads across Victoria. By learning how to properly secure your load, you can ensure that your Christmas tree doesn’t add to that statistic – and that you avoid a fine at what is already an expensive time of year.
RACV Drive School Senior Instructor, Silvia Morris, says it’s important to be prepared when going to pick up your Christmas tree and to choose with your head, as well as your heart.
“It is crucial to plan head and make sure you are able to safely secure and transport the load,” she says. “It might be tempting to get the biggest and most impressive tree in the lot, but drivers need to first check whether their vehicle is suitable to carry the load.
“Insecure loads are a significant road safety hazard, a tree that is not properly secured could fall off and lead to a serious or even fatal collision.”
In Victoria, an unsecured load - be that a Christmas tree or another object - can cost you upwards of $242 in fines (even if it doesn’t fall off your vehicle), with the most severe breaches taken to court.
Securing your Christmas tree on the drive home isn’t just about the financial repercussions either. Other vehicles and road users can be damaged by unsecured loads, with Victorian workers also put at risk by having to clean up the resulting debris.