Loose loads are killers on our roads.
Almost 100 accidents involving material flying off vehicles and smashing into following or oncoming traffic have been reported in the last five years - five of them fatal.
The family of an elderly couple - killed by steel pipes that came off a truck - are calling for more to be done to protect motorists.
On May 28 last year, Ern and Nancy Sutton, both 83, were heading from their Ureuni home to a doctor's appointment on State Highway Three near Motunui. An oncoming truck and trailer carrying steel pipes overturned, killing the couple.
Lyn Brough said her parents had celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary just a year before their death, and left behind three children, 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
"We all feel cheated that they were snatched like that. It was not a nice way for them to go.
"It's like something's been ripped from you. I can't believe that we've all managed to get on with life."
The truck driver, Henry Anthony Tawhai, faces two counts of manslaughter and has been remanded until a committal date on August 7.
From 2008 to 2012 there were 98 fatal or injury-causing crashes on New Zealand roads with "unsecure load" identified as a contributing factor, Ministry of Transport figures show.
Of that total five accidents were fatal, and almost 20 per cent were deemed serious.
A Ministry of Transport spokeswoman said the issue was taken very seriously but the responsibility of ensuring loads were secure remained with those operating the vehicle and anyone loading them.
"While unsecure-load accidents are not common, the outcome is still severe, which is why there are checks in place for commercial operators with penalties for non-compliance," she said. "The Government's road safety strategy, Safer Journeys, has a vision of reducing deaths and serious injuries no matter what the cause."
National manager of road policing superintendent Carey Griffiths said it was vital road users used common sense when carrying loads.
"Drivers should ask themselves, 'If I hit a bump in the road, could this fall off? Could this hit another road user'?" he said.
Griffiths said any members of the public concerned about an insecure load should call police on *555 - or if it was a serious concern, call 111.
Lyn Brough's brother, Warren Sutton, said improvements were needed to ensure similiar accidents did not occur.
"It's a matter that is no different [from] putting a child on the bonnet of your car and taking off at 100km/h, and expecting the child to hang on.
"Our parents were taken away and they were fit, active and well and making a huge contribution to society. It's just an ongoing nightmare every time you come to something that is family-oriented, and we are very strong family people. Every time something happens you think about what Mum and Dad have missed."
Masterton's Dion Kilmister, 41, who lost his 15 year-old son Jayden as the result of an insecure-load incident in 2009, said people needed to take precautions and follow guidelines. "Just tie it down properly and think about it. You can't turn back time."
Labour transport spokesman Iain Lees-Galloway said the Government should be weighing up the value of an information campaign to get the message across to all motorists that carrying an insecure load was a risk to themselves and other road users.
"I think it's probably something that many road users just aren't thinking about, and awareness is often more useful than beefing up the legislative penalties for unsafe practices on the road," he said.
The Land Transport Act 1998 carries the legislation surrounding load security, with fines of up to $2000 for an individual and a maximum fine of $10,000 for a company caught carrying an unsecure load.