Driving in Florida can sometimes be one of the most frustrating parts of the week. People who cut you off, daily accidents on the bridges, and aggressive drivers who would benefit from a couple of meditation sessions. It’s dangerous for everyone, and even more so for motorcyclists. It’s no wonder the Sunshine State has one of the highest accident rates in the country.
When it comes to traffic laws, everyone is familiar with the basics – stop signs, yield signs, traffic cams, and patrol cars hiding in the bushes are all there to remind us that, as drivers, we all have responsibilities to ensure traffic safety. But what about motorcyclists? Are there any specific laws that apply to them?
What are the Motorcycle Laws in Florida?
1. License requirements
The same way you need to study traffic rules before obtaining a driver’s license, Florida requires motorcyclists to study motorcycle laws. Once you pass the Basic Rider Course (BRC), your driver’s license will have a motorcycle endorsement. If you fail the examination, you’ll incur a $5 fee for each subsequent time you have to take it, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
2. Insurance Requirements
Motorcyclists are required to carry liability insurance for a minimum of $20,000 in total bodily injury and $10,000 to cover property damage.
Florida Statutes 316.405 requires motorcycle operators to have their headlights turned on at all times, even during the day. This ensures you can be seen by cars driving around you.
4. Passenger Laws
Motorcycle drivers are only allowed to carry a passenger if their bike was designed to carry two people – meaning it has a permanent additional seat. The motorcyclist can attach another seat to the motorcycle, as long as its position will not interfere with the operation or view of the motorcycle.
5. Lane Passing
Florida Statutes Section 316.081 prohibits motorcycle drivers to pass other motor vehicles in the same lane. The same applies to lane splitting – which is when a motorcyclist rides his or her bike between traffic lanes.
6. Mandatory Helmets
Motorcyclists riding their bikes in Florida are required to wear a helmet and protective eyewear. This protective equipment has to comply with the Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218, promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation. The only exception to this statute is if the driver is over 21 years of age and is covered by an insurance policy providing at least $10,000 in coverage for medical injuries sustained by the driver – this is in addition to the required minimum of $20,000 for liability injuries mentioned above.
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Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.