(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), a violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(b) Any person who willfully violates the provisions of this section which offense results in serious bodily injury or death to an individual and which offense occurs as a result of failing to comply with subsections (1) and (2) commits a criminal traffic offense and a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) The provision of subsection (2) requiring covering and securing the load with a close-fitting tarpaulin or other appropriate cover 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.