Living in Florida, it’s common knowledge that a large number of people in our state are uninsured. Driving in the Sunshine State, it’s also common to witness poor road etiquette. Drivers cut you off or turn without using a signal, tailgate at high speeds, run red lights… The list is long. And when the driver is on a motorcycle, you may observe even more impatience: zig-zagging through lanes, driving between lanes, and otherwise ignoring traffic regulations, as if the laws don’t apply to them.
How do they legally get away with such behavior? What, exactly, are the Florida laws and regulations regarding motorcycles?
Motorcycle Laws in Florida
Yes. Florida laws do address regulations for motorcyclists. People operating a motorcycle are required to:
- Have a license to drive a motorcycle
- Obey all traffic laws
- Have headlights
- Wear a helmet and protective eyewear
- Have both wheels of the motorcycle on the ground at all times
- Display their license plate on the back of the motorcycle
- Keep both hands on the handles at all times
- Keep handlebars at shoulder’s height or lower
- Only carry a passenger if the bike has an additional seat
In addition, motorcyclists cannot ride their bikes while carrying packages.
They are permitted to ride adjacent to another motorcycle in a single lane.
Can motorcycles ride on the shoulder in Florida?
No. Florida law has very specific exceptions for driving on the shoulder of the roadway. Riding a motorcycle is not one of them.
Can motorcycles split lanes in Florida?
Lane splitting refers to when a motorcyclist rides their bike between two traffic lanes. This one may come as a surprise, since it’s common to see motorcyclists driving between lanes. Florida Statute 316.209 states that the operator of a motorcycle cannot pass vehicles in the same lane, and cannot drive the motorcycle between lanes of traffic.
Violating this law is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable by civil penalties. And since Florida is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, if the motorcyclist has an accident with a car, their violation of the law will be taken into account when determining liability.
If You Got Into a Car Accident With a Motorcyclist and Were Not at Fault Let Us Help You
Every auto accident case is different. There are many factors that determine your level of liability, and instances when that liability could be diminished, depending on the circumstances.
At Carey, Leisure & Neal, we have over three decades of combined experience successfully representing clients involved in vehicle accidents. All of our attorneys are accessible and Board Certified in civil trial law. Contact us online or call us at 727-799-3900 to schedule a free consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.