Florida Motorcycle Handbook: Florida Motor Vehicle Laws and Definitions (Find these at: myflorida.com/)
2. Motorcycle Legislation
- 2.1. Florida Rider Training Program (FRTP)
- 2.2. Financial Responsibility Law - It Does Apply To Motorcycles!
- 2.3. Florida Motor Vehicle Laws and Definitions (Find these at: myflorida.com/)
- 2.4. How to Identify Unsafe & Illegal Motorcycle Helmets if Wearing or Required to Wear Helmets
(Statute definitions for the same term may differ from one section of State Law to another due to the nature of the law being enforced, such as motor vehicle or motorcycle defined in traffic law vs. driver license law)
1.3.1 - Definitions
BICYCLE: Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle. Note: A driver license is not required to operate an electric helper-motor bicycle.
MOTOR VEHICLE: Any self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guide way, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, or moped.
MOTORCYCLE: Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor or a moped.
BICYCLE PATH: Any road, path, or way that is open to bicycle travel, which road, path, or way is physically separated from motorized vehicular traffic by an open space or by a barrier and is located either within the highway right-of-way or within an independent right-of-way.
MOTORIZED SCOOTER: Any vehicle not having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels, and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
ELECTRIC PERSONAL ASSISTIVE MOBILITY DEVICE: Any self-balancing, two non-tandem-wheeled device, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system with average power of 750 watts (1 horsepower), the maximum speed of which, on a paved level surface when powered solely by such a propulsion system while being ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour. Electric personal assistive mobility devices are not vehicles as defined in this section.
Note: The above refers to a stand-on-and-ride type vehicle with a handlebar control and two (usually large) side-by side wheels; it is not necessarily a disability related vehicle. A driver license is not required for this vehicle; see s. 316.2068 F.S. for more details on operating this type vehicle.
1.3.2 - Statutes
State Uniform Traffic Control, Chapter 316
316.1995 Driving upon sidewalk or bicycle path.
No person shall drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway. A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
316.208 Motorcycles and mopeds.
(1) Any person operating a motorcycle or moped shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter and except as to those provisions of this chapter, which by their nature can have no application.
(2)(a) Any person operating a moped upon a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic at the time and place and under the conditions then existing shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except under any of the following situations:
- When overtaking or passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
- When preparing for a left-turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
- When reasonably necessary to avoid any condition, including, but not limited to, a fixed or moving object, parked or moving vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian, animal, surface hazard, or substandard-width lane, that makes it unsafe to continue along the right hand curb or edge. For purposes of this paragraph, a "substandard-width lane" is a lane that is too narrow for a moped and another vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.
- Any person operating a moped upon a one-way highway with two or more marked traffic lanes may ride as near the left-hand curb or edge of such roadway as practicable.
- A person propelling a moped solely by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances, except that such person shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.
- No person shall propel a moped upon and along a sidewalk while the motor is operating.
- A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
316.209 Operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic.
(1) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.
(2) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
(3) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
(4) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
(5) Subsections (2) and (3) do not apply to police officers or firefighters in the performance of their official duties.
(6) A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
316.2095 Footrests, handholds, and handlebars.
(1) Any motorcycle carrying a passenger, other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, shall be equipped with footrests and handholds for such passenger.
(2) No person shall operate any motorcycle with handlebars or with handgrips that are higher than the top of the shoulders of the person operating the motorcycle while properly seated upon the motorcycle.
(3) A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
316.222 Stop lamps and turn signals.
(1) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer shall be equipped with two or more stop lamps meeting the requirements of s. 316.234(1). Motor vehicles, trailers, semi-trailers and pole trailers manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1972, shall be equipped with at least one stop lamp. On a combination of vehicles, only the stop lamps on the rear-most vehicle need actually be seen from the distance specified in s.316.234(1).
(2) Every motor vehicle, trailer, semi-trailer, and pole trailer shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps meeting the requirements of s. 316.234(2).
(3) Passenger cars and trucks less than 80 inches in width, manufactured or assembled prior to January 1, 1972, need not be equipped with electric turn signal lamps.
(4) A violation of this section is a non-criminal traffic infraction, punishable as a non-moving violation as provided in chapter 318.
316.304 Wearing of headsets.
(1) No person shall operate a vehicle while wearing a headset, headphone, or other listening device, other than a hearing aid or instrument for the improvement of defective human hearing.
(2) This section does not apply to:
(a) Any law enforcement officer equipped with any communication device necessary in performing his or her assigned duties or to any emergency vehicle operator equipped with any ear protection device.
(b) Any applicant for a license to operate a motorcycle while taking the examination required by s. 322.12(5).
(c) Any person operating a motorcycle who is using a headset that is installed in a helmet and worn so as to prevent the speakers from making direct contact with the user's ears so that the user can hear surrounding sounds.
(d) Any person using a headset in conjunction with a cellular telephone that only provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.
(e) Any person using a headset in conjunction with communicating with the central base operation that only provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other ear.
MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSES, CHAPTER 320
S. 320.02 Registration required; application for registration; forms.
(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle, which is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state. The owner or person in charge shall apply to the department or to its authorized agent for registration of each such vehicle on a form prescribed by the department. No registration is required for any motor vehicle, which is not operated on the roads of this state during the registration period.
DRIVER LICENSES, CHAPTER 322 DEFINTIONS, s. 322.01, F.S.
(26)"Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle powered by a motor with a displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters, having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor or moped.
(27) "Motor vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle, including a motor vehicle combination, not operated upon rails or guide way, excluding vehicles moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchairs, and motorized bicycles as defined in s. 316.003.
322.57 Tests of knowledge concerning specified vehicles; endorsement; nonresidents; violations.
(1) In addition to fulfilling any other driver's licensing requirements of this chapter, a person who:
(g) Drives a motorcycle must successfully complete a Motorcycle Rider Course. A person who successfully completes the Motorcycle Rider Course shall be issued an endorsement if he or she is licensed to drive another type of motor vehicle. A person who successfully completes the Motorcycle Rider Course and who is not licensed to drive another type of motor vehicle shall be issued a Class E driver's license that is clearly restricted to motorcycle use only.
HELMET AND EYE PROTECTION REQUIREMENTS
Head injuries are reduced by wearing approved motorcycle helmets!
- Anyone under 16 years of age must wear a Department approved motorcycle helmet and may only ride as a passenger on any motorcycle, moped, motor-driven cycle regardless of engine size.
- A person does not need to wear a helmet while operating or riding upon a moped, scooter or other two or three-wheel motor vehicle 50cc or less, if at least 16 years of age.
- Anyone 16 years of age but less than 21 years of age must wear a Department approved helmet when operating or riding upon a motorcycle. Per s. 316.211F.S.
- Persons at least 21 years of age may ride a motorcycle without a helmet if they can show proof of medical insurance coverage in the amounts of at least $10,000.00 that will pay for injuries they may incur in a motorcycle crash. A separate motorcycle medical insurance policy card or other forms of health insurance coverage will suffice, such as employee group or private health insurance cards. Law officers shall make final determination if proof of insurance is acceptable.
- Per s. 316.211(2), a person may not operate a motorcycle as defined in s. 316.003(22), unless the person is wearing one of these Department approved eye-protective devices over his or her eyes; goggles, face shields designed for use with, and as part of an approved helmet or eyeglasses including sunglasses. Contact lenses are not acceptable. Each device must be in good repair, free of sharp edges or projections and made of material suitable for ophthalmic use. It shall be free from cracks, waves, bubbles or any other defect which may impair its normal visibility. Any tinted device should not impair the wearer's ability to see color and shall not be used at night.
The above requirements do not apply to persons riding within an enclosed cab or to persons 16 years of age or older who operate or ride upon motorcycles powered by a motor with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less or rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and which are not capable of propelling such motorcycles at speeds greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground. Note: If at anytime however, the 50 cc or less vehicle being operated exceeds any of the above statute limitations, such as having the engine enhanced for more horsepower, then said vehicle no longer meets the exempt definition and the operator is subject to enforcement of the eye-protection device statute.
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