Securing the Load
A driver in Florida is not permitted to drive or move any loaded vehicle on the highway if the load is not secure. The load must be stable such that it does not drop, shift, leak, or otherwise escape. The policy behind this statute is that other drivers on the road should be safe and not have to dodge debris or other items coming off the back of a vehicle in front of it.
The driver must use a close-fitting cover when hauling loads which could fall or blow onto the roadway (e.g., dirt, sand, gravel). Every truck carrying logs or pulpwood must use lock chains to fasten the load securely.
If the driver of a truck with an unsecured load causes an automobile accident or crash, that driver can be held liable along with the truck owner, according to Florida Statute 316.520. If you receive a citation for this violation, you can face civil or criminal consequences.
Attorney for Citations involving Not Securing a Load in Florida
If you receive a citation for an infraction for a violation of Florida Statute Section 316.520(1) or (2) for load dropping, shifting, leaking/blowing off and not covered, then the infraction requires a mandatory hearing in front of a county court judge.
Contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. to represent you at this mandatory hearing.
From our office in West Palm Beach, FL, we represent clients throughout Palm Beach County at the Main Courthouse in West Palm Beach, the West County Courthouse in Belle Glade, the North County Courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens, and the South County Courthouse in Delray Beach.
From our office in Fort Lauderdale, we represent clients throughout Broward County at the Central Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, FL, the County Civil North Regional Courthouse in Deerfield Beach, County Civil South Regional Courthouse in Hollywood, and County Civil West Regional Courthouse in Plantation, FL.
Our attorneys also represent clients in Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County, Hobe Sound and the Village of Indiantown in Martin County, and in Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Beach and Miami in Miami-Dade County, FL.
Penalties for Not Securing the Load in Florida
Under Florida Statute Section 316.520(3)(a), a violation of the statute is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
If a person violates this statute, and the offense results in serious bodily injury or death to an individual and the offense occurs as a result of failing to comply with subsections (1) and (2) of Florida Statute Section 316.520, then it can be charged as a second degree misdemeanor, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
Defenses to Not Securing the Load for Agricultural Products
When the statute requires covering and securing the load with a close-fitting tarpaulin or other appropriate cover, that provision does not apply to vehicles carrying agricultural products locally from a harvest site or to or from a farm on roads where the posted speed limit is 65 miles per hour or less and the distance driven on public roads is less than 20 miles.
This article was last updated on Friday, March 23, 3018.
From left to right: Ari Goldberg, Lawrence Meltzer, Steven Bell, Kristie Cohen, Matthew Shafran
West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 557-8686
330 Clemantis St Suite 113
West Palm Beach, FL 33401 (561) 500-5000
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 745-7457