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Motorcycle Laws that Protect Pedestrians in Florida

Florida’s warm climate and beautiful scenery encourage many people to ditch the regular four-wheelers for two-wheeled motorcycles to feel the warm sunshine. For this, enacted laws protect the rider, passenger, pedestrian, and other road users.

Motorcycle laws that protect pedestrians in Florida ensure that riders and other road users stay alive while riding.

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Statistics For the Year 2022:

  • Total motorcycle crash at 5013
  • Total motorcycle fatalities at 320
  • Total pedestrian crashes at 5273
  • Total pedestrian fatalities at 395

Regardless of how few the number of pedestrian deaths may seem compared to other statistics, the death of a loved one from a motorcycle accident can be excruciating. 

Motorcycle laws that protect pedestrians in Florida (and indeed, every other road user, including the rider): 

  1. Prohibiting Drunk and DUI Riding: Florida’s drinking and driving law prohibits driving any vehicle while intoxicated. Furthermore, a rider should not be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance. By law, a person should not move a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more, or under the influence of alcohol, harmful chemical substances, or illegal controlled substances.
  2. Proscribed Speed Limit: Florida has a standard speed limit for all vehicles. The maximum speed limit is 55mph, with variations depending on location. For example, the appropriate speed limit in business and residential areas is 30mph and 20mph in schools.
  1. Using eyewear: Wearing prescription motorcycle glasses helps protect the rider’s vision. UV light can affect the rider’s vision, preventing them from seeing pedestrians and other objects. Such obstruction can lead to an avoidable accident. Prescribed eyewear can also help to protect dust and particles from entering into rider’s eye.
  1. Prohibiting the use of a headset or listening device while riding: It is unlawful for a rider to wear a headset or any listening device while riding. Headsets and other listening devices can distract the rider. The only exception is where the listening device is for the improvement of hearing ability. 
  1. Functioning brakes: Motorcycles must have functioning brakes. See Florida Statute 316.261(3).
  1. Use of Horn: Horning alerts pedestrians and other road users that the horning vehicle is fast approaching. Horning is particularly useful at bends, roundabouts, junctions, and intersections. A pedestrian that does not see the motorcycle can be alerted by the sound of its horn. When operated upon a highway, every motor vehicle shall have a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet. Furthermore, no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.
    1. Florida Statute 316.271(1)
  1. Use of mirrors: Motorcycles must have and use mirrors. Every vehicle, operated singly or when towing any other vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror to reflect the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the motor vehicle. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
    1. Florida Statute 316.294
  1. Use of Headlights: Lights are necessary to help the rider see objects and pedestrians, whether in motion or static. Headlights must be on even in the daytime but especially at night. That is the law. The headlights must also be on as long as the engine is on. This will aid the motorcycle’s visibility to pedestrians and other road users. 
  2. Every motorcycle and every motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with at least one and not more than two headlamps which shall comply with the requirements and limitations of this chapter.
    1. Florida Statute 316.400(1) and 316.405(1)
  1. Prohibition of racing and stunts on highways: A person may not drive any motor vehicle in any street takeover, stunt driving, race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, a test of physical endurance, or exhibition of speed or acceleration or to make a speed record on any highway, roadway, or parking lot;
    1. Florida Statute 316.191(2)(a)
  1. Prohibiting texting while riding: Although Florida does not have a law against riding and texting, a distracted driving law provides that a vehicle operator cannot manually type or send data on a wireless communication device. Making or receiving calls and texting while riding is all prohibited. 
  1. Additionally, the law covers all forms of distracted driving. Although many people link using a cell phone while driving with being distracted, distraction can occur in a variety of situations such as manual (hands off the wheel), visual (eyes off the road), and cognitive (the task of driving). For example, turning around to speak to a passenger, daydreaming, or simply admiring a stunning Florida sunset can distract a rider.
  1. Motorcycle Licensing and Endorsement: Any person who wishes to operate a motorcycle in Florida must be duly licensed by the state. Licensing will stop the wrong persons (for example, an under-aged person) from operating a motorcycle. 
  2. In addition to a driving license, an additional layer of security is proscribed by law: obtaining a motorcycle endorsement. To obtain a motorcycle endorsement, a rider must complete the BRC or BRCu from an authorized sponsor and show proof of successful course completion. Florida Statute  322.03(4)
  1. Mandating the use of red reflectors: Reflectors help increase the visibility of the rider or the vehicle on the road. Every motorcycle and motor-driven cycle shall carry on the rear, either as part of the tail lamp or separately, at least one red reflector. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318. Florida Statute 316.415

Whether or Not You Should Contact a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Your attorney can recover benefits such as reimbursement for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost opportunities, future expenses, and other incidental costs.

You deserve compensation when you suffer injury due to another person’s poor choice. It is within the injured person’s right to seek compensation from the party responsible for your injury.

Did it happen in Florida? Contact us at the Coleman Law Group. We have a team of experienced and well-trained attorneys who have helped many accident victims receive their entitled financial injury compensation.

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