Motorcycle Laws in Florida

motorycle-crash-bikeStarting on July 1, 2008 with the fear of an increase in motorcycle crashes the State of Florida mandates that new motorcycle operators (regardless of age) must complete the Basic Rider Course through the Florida Rider Training Program beforethey get a motorcycle license or can have the Motorcycle Endorsement added to their drivers license.  This includes the ability to operate a scooter with an engine displacement of 50cc or more.

 

With an increase number of three wheel motorcycles on the road by inexperienced operators, thereby resulting in an increase numbers in motorcycle crash, its important to remember that to operate a three wheel motorcycle you must complete the S/TEP – Sidecar / Trike Evaluation Program. This course provides basic skills for those operating three wheel motorcycles and and side car rigs.

Those who pass the Motorycycle S/TEP course will have an “S” restriction on their license. The S Restriction indicates that the person only has permission to operate a three wheeled motorcycle.

Currently, there are no temporary permits issued in the state of Florida, which begs the question where should prospective riders go to practice riding motorcycles before they take the Basic Rider Course?  We recommend practicing on private property without other motorists around.  Also, there are many motorcycle courses available.  Check your local motorcycle dealer.

The biggest point of confusion is the motorcycle helmet law in Florida.  If the motorcycle driver is 21 years old and covered by an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits the rider can get a Helmet exemption. However, police or law enforcement have the ability to stop a motorcycle rider if they believe they are under 21 years old and are not wearing a helmet.  We always recommend for operators regardless of age to wear a United States approved helmet to help prevent severe injuries in motorcycle crashes.  In 2010, there were nearly 7500 motorcycle crashes in Florida, the majority of which resulting in injuries.

At Donaldson and Weston, PA we have experienced personal injury attorneys working in Stuart, Port Saint Lucie, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Ft. Pierce.  If you need more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.