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The Question Of Fault Or Character?


Florida motorcycle laws clearly define the appropriate parameters for safely operating a vehicle. With so many riders across the state, it is imperative to be familiar with these statutes, since they can impact any claims that are made in the event of an accident. By having this knowledge, riders are also better able to pursue the right channels should injury or accident occur.

The most basic points to know is what defines a motorcycle. Under the Florida law, it refers to:

  • • Motor vehicles with 2 to 3 wheels
  • • Has an engine of 50 ccs or more

While mopeds, scooters, and even tractors which are driven on public roads are not included for the following statutes, there are still motor vehicle parameters that are placed on their operation.

Staying On The Right Side Of The Law

Although many Floridians are strong motorcycle enthusiasts, statewide view on riders do vary. Many counties are quite stringent about following the regulations for riding, and this can lead to difficult experiences with law enforcement. However, Florida is ultimately a motorcycle friendly state, and following motorcycle laws can greatly enhance the riding experience.

To legally operate a motorcycle in Florida, the law requires:

  • • Operators need a Florida motorcycle operating license, or the equivalent out-of-state motorcycle license
  • • Operators must be at least 16 years of age
  • • Operators must have completed a 15 hour training course that includes road safety, as well as hearing and vision testing
  • • Operators between 16 and 20 years of age must wear a state approved helmet
  • • Operators who are 21 can ride without a helmet, so long as they have the requires $10,000 insurance
  • • With or without a helmet, riders must use state approved eye protection, which includes goggles, glasses, or a windshield;
  • • Operators must use a daytime headlight in all weather conditions
  • • Operators cannot wear headphone or gear that impairs hearing
  • • Motorcycles can only have handle bars that are as high as the riders shoulders, and not higher
  • • Operators must use vehicle turn signals
  • • Passengers on the motorcycle must wear a state approved helmet
  • • DUI rules for riders include a BAC of no higher than .08

It is also important to note that the insurance requirements for motorcyclists are different from other vehicle operators in the state. This also means that ensuring that the right insurance coverage is attained will also lessen issues that may be based on a character bias.

Facing The Unexpected

While adhering to the letter of the law has a number of immediate benefits for riders, it should also be noted that these actions can be positive points should an accident happen. A recent case involved a rider who was pushed off the road by a vehicle. As the situation unfolded, the at fault driver’s insurance company made claims that the rider was actually the cause of the accident, for not using a turn signal, and this negated the claim.

Thankfully, intersection cameras caught the event, showing that the rider was following proper conduct. As a result, due compensations for medical care and pain and suffering were made to the rider. However, it is still important to note that motorcycle accident and injury cases can require attorney aid for the truth of the matter to come to light.

Attorney David Goldman has a strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and those with the means should do what they can to bring justice in all areas of our society. That belief has led him to help Florida's injured from being taken advantage of by corporations and insurance companies. Since 1989 David Goldman has been fighting for the rights of Floridians both as an attorney and by personally supporting our community.

The Question Of Fault Or Character?

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh




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