Department of Health

Key messages

  • Good preparation determines the safety of a trip.
  • The key principle behind well-restrained vehicles is that an unmoving, well-placed load will not adversely affect anyone.
  • These guidelines supplement publications by other organisations; make sure you check them all before transporting radiation.

Ensuring that all items to be transported are firmly and securely restrained helps to secure the safety of the driver, pedestrians and other vehicles, as well as contributing to smooth traffic flow.

The key principle behind well-restrained vehicles is that an unmoving, well-placed load will not adversely affect anyone.

Transporting radiation sources – before the journey

Actions taken before starting your journey can be the most important. Good preparation will determine the safety of the trip.

Before securing a load, consider:

  • the roads that will be travelled on (unsurfaced roads are more hazardous)
  • how large the load is (the size of the load dictates how easy it is to restrain)
  • the kind of vehicle to be used (it is more difficult to restrain a small load in a large vehicle and vice-versa).

Making allowance for these factors helps to determine the correct type and number of restraints required to secure the load safely. It is always better to be over-cautious, as unknown factors (such as sudden changes in travel speed, and airflow through and around the vehicle) will also affect the security of the items being transported.

Transporting radiation sources – general principles for securing a load

Before travelling, note the following principles:

  • Ensure that the vehicle chosen is big enough to safely carry the load, while being mindful that a small load in a large vehicle can often be cumbersome.
  • Make certain that enough strapping is used to bed down the load so that it does not move around loosely and has no way to slip out or off the vehicle.
  • Check that the load has not been placed in a way that makes the vehicle unstable or unbalanced. An unbalanced cargo will not only affect the steering and general performance of the vehicle, but may also tip the vehicle over.
  • Ensure any small items are securely contained, as they can easily become missiles during emergency braking.

Transporting radiation sources – during the journey

There are a number of things to remember during the journey:

  • Remember that the size, height and position of the load will affect the handling of your vehicle.
  • Check the lashings and restraints in mirrors regularly to make sure they have not come loose. It is often a good idea to check the load shortly after the beginning of the journey, as the load-settling process often loosens during this time.
  • Avoid sudden braking and accelerating as much as possible.
  • Check the load after every time that any abrupt manoeuvre or emergency braking has occurred to make sure that the load has not become unsafe.

Transporting radiation sources – further information

Every endeavour has been made to ensure that the information here is accurate at the time of writing. However, the information provided should be used as a guide only. Please see the following publications for more details:

For enquiries about the safe loading and restraint of vehicles, contact VicRoads' Transport Safety Services staff, as outlined in Table 1.

Table 1: VicRoads Transport Safety Services

VicRoads region




Metro North West

Metropolitan Melbourne, north-west of the Yarra River

9302 8400

Pearcedale Parade Broadmeadows Vic 3047

Metro South-East

Metropolitan Melbourne, south-east of the Yarra River

9881 8862

12 Lakeside Drive Burwood Vic 3151


Warragul, Leongatha, Traralgon, Sale, Bairnsdale, Genoa

5135 3037

87 Princes Way Morwell Vic 3840


Seymour, Kyneton, Bendigo, Echuca, Swan Hill, Charlton

5434 5000

57 Lansell Street Bendigo Vic 3550

North Eastern

Yea, Mansfield, Wodonga, Cobram, Shepparton

5761 1888

50 Clarke Street Benalla Vic 3672

South Western

Geelong, Colac, Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton

5225 2578

180 Fyans Street South Geelong Vic 3220


Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat, Ararat, Horsham, Mildura

5333 8779

88 Learmonth Road Ballarat Vic 3350

Reviewed 10 July 2023


Contact details

Our phone service is available Monday to Friday, from 9.00am to 1.00pm or we can be contacted via email. 

Radiation Safety Department of Health GPO Box 4057, Melbourne, VIC 3000

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