MIAMI - Drivers worry that not enough is being done about people who overload their cars with couches, mattresses, and whatever else they can fit -- inside and out.
Neyva Stafford drove 50 miles on Interstate 95 with a mattress and box spring on top of her Jeep. She bought them in Hialeah and hauled them up to Delray Beach.
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"It's cheaper over there and I saved $500, so it's a deal," she said.
On St. Patrick's Day, 9-year-old Lemar Baily was killed on I-95 in Martin County when his mother's sport utility vehicle flipped over four times, throwing him from the vehicle. The boy's mother lost control of her SUV trying to avoid a couch that had fallen out of a pick-up truck.
Last week, a piece of wood pierced the windshield of a car after it fell from a vehicle. The driver didn't suffer any injuries.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers said they often pull over drivers if their loads aren't secure.
"We don't recommend putting things on top of cars, like washing machines, couches, and things like that," said FHP Sgt. Mark Wysocky.
"They had it loaded with everything," said Maurice Luten. "Everything except the kitchen sink."
Luten sent Local 10 a picture (above) he took in Opa-locka of a Jeep Cherokee with a washer, bathtub, and entertainment center tied to the roof.
"People are not thinking about what they are doing," he said.
"Drives me crazy, too," said State Rep. Irving Slosberg.
Slosberg wants harsher charges and higher fines, up to $1,000, for citations of failure to secure loads when injuries happen.
"Even though I think it should be $10,000 or $20,000 for something like this, especially if you kill or seriously injure someone, and up to a year in jail," said Slosberg.
Slosberg is on the Transportation Committee and plans to introduce a bill raising the fines in next year's legislative session. He doesn't anticipate any new laws restricting loads coming anytime soon.
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