A photo of a van driving with an insecure load north of Vernon sparked a conversation about driving safety. (Melissa Wightman/Facebook)

A photo of a van driving with an insecure load north of Vernon sparked a conversation about driving safety. (Melissa Wightman/Facebook)

Dangerous ‘parasailing minivan’ spotted on highway north of Vernon

A poorly secured mattress on Highway 97 sparked a driving safety conversation on social media

Moving a large object can be a real hassle for those who don’t drive a pickup truck. But when strapping a mattress to the top of your vehicle, it’s essential to properly secure the load.

Such was the cautionary tale that developed in the Vernon Rant and Rave Facebook group earlier this week, when group member Melissa Wightman posted a picture of a mattress hanging on for dear life to the roof of a minivan.

“Ever seen a parasailing minivan? Well now you have!” her post reads.

The van was travelling along Highway 97A towards Kelowna and the photo was taken near Oyama, according to the post.

Not only is an unsecured load at risk of falling off while driving, in this case, it can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle due to the pressure of the wind when travelling at highway speed.

“He was being pulled around on the highway,” Wightman said. “The wind would pick up and he is doing 100 (km) and then he would get pulled into the other lane, then he would correct it and it would blow him right back.”

The post sparked a conversation in the comments about driving safety, which was by and large civil. Among the roughly 100 comments were people saying they’d seen the driver around Vernon and Kelowna that day.

According to one person in the comments, the driver may have come to his senses at some point on the trip.

“Funny enough I just saw the van by the rec centre; I think they tied it down better because I saw three straps instead of two like the photo shows,” they said.

An improperly secured load can lead to a fine of $173 or more in B.C. under the Motor Vehicle Act, as highlighted by DriveSmartBC, a civilian-led traffic law and road safety website.

READ MORE: Cone Zone campaign encourages Lake Country motorists to drive safe

READ MORE: Catnap leads to crash on Coquihalla


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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