Flying cargo nets 346 traffic citations in Tampa Bay


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa Bay’s roads can be dangerous enough without added distractions. Vehicles loaded down with furniture or other items can make a bad drive downright terrifying.

According to Florida Uniform Traffic Citation Statistics, 346 crashes in the Tampa Bay area were caused by drivers who didn’t properly secure their cargo, or by items that shifted or fell from a vehicle. 

At 55 miles per hour, an object weighing just 20 pounds that falls from a vehicle strikes with the impact of half a ton. The mid part of the day, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is when most crashes are recorded, as those are peak times drivers haul furniture or construction equipment.

Every state has laws that make it illegal for items to fall from a vehicle while on the road. In Florida, it’s the law to tie down cargo with rope or straps, and cover the load with a sturdy tarp or netting. A violation is a ticketed as a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation. However, if a failure to properly secure cargo causes a crash that seriously hurts or kills someone, the responsible driver commits a criminal traffic offense and a misdemeanor of the second degree, and could be punished with up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine. You can read Florida’s laws here.

2018 Florida Uniform Traffic Citations – Load Dropping/Shifting/Escaping

  • Statewide: 1,363
  • Hillsborough County: 72
  • Pinellas County: 53
  • Pasco County: 29
  • Polk County: 23
  • Sarasota County: 19
  • Manatee County: 18
  • Hernando County: 6
  • Citrus County: 6
  • Highlands County: 3

2018 Florida Uniform Traffic Citations – Hauling Load Without Proper Safety Device

  • Statewide: 839
  • Hillsborough County: 28
  • Pinellas County: 24
  • Pasco County: 11
  • Polk County: 25
  • Sarasota County: 9
  • Manatee County: 6
  • Hernando County: 6
  • Citrus County: 2
  • Highlands County: 4

2018 Florida Uniform Traffic Citations – Failure to Secure Load with Serious Injury or Death

  • Statewide: 23
  • Tampa Bay: 2


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