Can you legally place trash on your car to take it to the compactor?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions.

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Katie recently asked, “Is it legal to place trash on your car in a gated community in order to bring it to the trash compactor?”

"The key part of this question is knowing where it is applying to," Trooper Steve said. "Katie paints a picture of what I see being a large apartment-type community that happens to be gated. Being gated plays a huge role as it then becomes private property without public access, making things much different than just driving on a normal road."

But can you get in trouble for traveling with a bag of trash on your vehicle?

"If kept in the neighborhood the answer is no, but if you forget and end up on a public road, then, yes, you can be cited," he said. "I’d also check the lease agreement to make sure you don’t have to follow some random rules that might be in the fine print."

Ultimately, drivers should make sure their view is not obstructed and that the trash is not going to fall off the car.

"Maybe your trunk would be a better option for the transport of your trash," Trooper Steve said.

Florida Statute 316.520 covers the topic of securing things to vehicles in a public setting:

  • A vehicle may not be driven or moved on any highway unless the vehicle is so constructed or loaded as to prevent any of its load from dropping, shifting, leaking, blowing, or otherwise escaping therefrom, except that sand may be dropped only for the purpose of securing traction or water or other substance may be sprinkled on a roadway in cleaning or maintaining the roadway.
  • It is the duty of every owner and driver, severally, of any vehicle hauling, upon any public road or highway open to the public, dirt, sand, lime rock, gravel, silica, or other similar aggregate or trash, garbage, any inanimate object or objects, or any similar material that could fall or blow from such vehicle, to prevent such materials from falling, blowing, or in any way escaping from such vehicle. Covering and securing the load with a close-fitting tarpaulin or other appropriate cover or a load securing device meeting the requirements of 49 C.F.R. s. 393.100 or a device designed to reasonably ensure that cargo will not shift upon or fall from the vehicle is required and shall constitute compliance with this section.

  • About the Authors:

    Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

    Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.