Policy Positions

Ride Smart Florida supports policies that improve motorcycle safety in Florida. Our policy positions on motorcycle safety and other issues direct our public policy advocacy efforts. Read more about our positions:

Florida Motorcycle Insurance Statute

Update to Florida Motorcycle Insurance Statute

PROBLEM:

Language in Florida Statutes regulating insurance coverage of motorcycle operators riding without a helmet is vague and difficult for law enforcement to confirm adequate coverage. Currently, the required amount is inadequate. 316.211 Equipment for motorcycle and moped riders.

BACKGROUND:

In 2000, Florida amended its motorcycle helmet law to allow operators to ride without a helmet if they were at least age 21 and carried at least $10,000 in “medical benefits.” The definition of “medical benefits” can mean many things, and law enforcement often is unable to determine if a rider has adequate coverage as intended by the statute. Moreover, 19 years after the statute amendment, the required $10,000 is economically insufficient (Ulmer &Northrup, 2005). The ambiguous language of the current statute, combined with the inadequate coverage amount means that many riders today are financially deficient, having insufficient or no medical insurance, and results in medical providers—and taxpayers—absorbing the costs.

SOLUTION:

Motorcycle riders who choose to ride without a helmet should have more financial responsibility. The section of the statute that says “medical benefits” should be rewritten to read “medical payments on your motorcycle insurance.” This would allow law enforcement to confirm adequate coverage by checking a rider’s motorcycle insurance ID card. Additionally, the required medical coverage amount should be increased to $20,000 to account for current costs, the same as has been done by other states with optional helmet laws, such as Michigan. We also propose amending the current statute by removing Section 316.211(3)(a), which excludes users of mopeds and scooters under 50cc from helmet requirements. This change will ensure that moped and scooter users have the same rights and protections as motorcyclists.

CALL TO ACTION AND SUPPORT:

Riding instructors, law enforcement, doctors, and medical associations along with insurance industry support this call to action.


Children Motorcycle Passenger Protection

Children Motorcycle Passenger Protection

PROBLEM:

Language in Florida Statutes regarding children and the use of motorcycles is insufficient. Currently, a person of any age, even a young child, may ride as a passenger on any motorcycle or moped on any roadway, street or highway in Florida. 316.2085 Riding on motorcycles or mopeds.

BACKGROUND:

From 2011 to 2018, 151 children age 10 or younger were injured or killed as passengers in motorcycle crashes in Florida. Although children five years of age or younger are required to use crash-tested, federally-approved child restraint devices in motor vehicles in Florida (Florida Statute 316.613), there is no child motorcycle passenger protection law. In 2016, motorcyclist fatalities occurred nearly 28 times more frequently than passenger car occupant fatalities in traffic crashes per vehicle mile traveled (NHTSA, 2018), yet the Florida Statutes do not set minimum age requirements for passengers of motorcycles or mopeds traveling on Florida roadways, streets or highways.

SOLUTION:

Motorcycle safety laws in five states (Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Texas and Washington) specify minimum age requirements for motorcycle passengers. Florida Statute 316.2085 (5) should specify that a child age 10 or younger may not ride as a passenger on any motorcycle or moped traveling on Florida roadways, streets or highways.

CALL TO ACTION AND SUPPORT:

Child health advocates, law enforcement, doctors and researchers support this call to action


Define Mopeds & Scooters as Motorcycles

Define Mopeds & Scooters as Motorcycles for License Endorsement and Helmet Use

PROBLEM:

Motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters are defined differently in Florida Statutes as they pertain to operator licensing, training, and laws governing helmet use.

BACKGROUND:

In Florida, motorcycle riders are required to have an endorsement on their license and complete formal training to operate on public roads. Also, per Florida Statute, motorcycle riders ages 16–21 are required to use a helmet. Current statutes make an exception to these requirements for mopeds and scooters based on engine size (under 50cc) and speed (max 30 mph). While motorcycle riders are governed by the protective Statutes, anyone can ride a moped or a scooter with no license, no prior training or experience, and no helmet even if the rider is under 21. With recent technology advancements, mopeds/ scooters under 50cc can easily exceed speeds over 30mph. In addition, moped/scooter riding has grown significantly as a primary means of transportation, especially around college campuses because of their low cost and parking flexibility. Mopeds and scooters face the same dangers and driving conditions encountered by all motorized vehicle operators on public roads regardless of engine size. Endorsement and mandatory training to reduce crashes and fatalities for motorcycles as well as mopeds and scooters are necessary for consistent public policy.

SOLUTION:

All operators of 2- or 3-wheeled motorized vehicles licensed for street use, including mopeds and scooters, must have an endorsement, received mandatory training, and must adhere to the helmet laws that currently govern motorcycles. We propose amending the Florida Statutes 316.003(41), 316.211(3)(a), and 322.01(26) by eliminating the moped/scooter exception that is based on size and speed so that they are governed by the same statutes as motorcycles. This would apply to Florida resident operators only; moped and scooters rented by tourists would be excluded.

CALL TO ACTION AND SUPPORT:

Law enforcement, colleges/universities, doctors, medical associations and researchers support this call to action.


Download Printable PDF:

Update to Florida Motorcycle Insurance Statute

Children Motorcycle Passenger Protection

Define Mopeds & Scooters as Motorcycles for License Endorsement and Helmet Use