Citations and Insurance

Question

Luiz asked:  Can a bicyclist receive a ticket for crash?  Does the bicyclist have to have (and provide) liability insurance information when involved in an accident?

What if he did crash, in the rear, but the aftermath is a head concussion with memory loss? How it can be defended?

Can a bicyclist with an impeccable driving record have his driver’s license suspended for a bicycle accident?

Answer

We do not provide legal advice at this site. You should retain counsel to prepare a defense.  With regard to your other questions, the following statutes apply.

Bicyclists must comply with traffic law as must other drivers. Police officers enforce the traffic laws and issue Uniform Traffic Citations to motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians when appropriate.  That authority is defined in FS 316.640.

s. 316.640 – Enforcement

The enforcement of the traffic laws of this state is vested as follows ….

(The statute defines the jurisdictions and authority of various police officers.)

Bicyclists are not required to possess proof of financial responsibility or insurance.  That is a requirement to own and operate a motor vehicle.  A bicycle is not a motor vehicle.

s. 324.011 – Purpose of Chapter

It is the intent of this chapter to recognize the existing privilege to own or operate a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this state when such vehicles are used with due consideration for others and their property, and to promote safety and provide financial security requirements for such owners or operators whose responsibility it is to recompense others for injury to person or property caused by the operation of a motor vehicle. Therefore, it is required herein that the operator of a motor vehicle involved in a crash or convicted of certain traffic offenses meeting the operative provisions of s. 324.051(2) shall respond for such damages and show proof of financial ability to respond for damages in future accidents as a requisite to his or her future exercise of such privileges.

Driver’s of motor vehicles are required to possess a valid drivers’ license.  Again, bicyclists are not operating motor vehicles, and are not required to have a drivers’ license.

s. 322.03 – Drivers Must be Licensed; Penalties

(1)  Except as otherwise authorized in this chapter, a person may not drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has a valid driver’s license issued under this chapter.

(2) …. prior to issuing the driver’s license the department shall require such person to present proof of financial responsibility ….

A driver of a motor vehicle may lose a driver’s license due to an accumulation of points toward that license.  Since a drivers’ license is not required to operate a bicycle, points may not be awarded for traffic violations of the cyclist.  Please see this previous post that addresses that question.

http://flbikelaw.org/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=146

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6 comments on “Citations and Insurance
  1. Jon says:

    From what I know, a judge can remove your driving license privilege for ANY reason, including anything that has nothing to do with motor vehicles.

  2. Geo says:

    “Any reason” seems to cover a lot of territory. Since the purpose of this web site is to discuss the laws, can you provide legal substantiation for that statement? Are there any statutes, ordinances or regulations that support that? Particularly as they might relate to the question at hand, a cyclist’s crash.

    There are a number of offenses in Chapter 322 that are cause for revoking or suspending a driver’s license. Failure to take a breath test, theft of a motor vehicle, certain alcohol or drug offenses of a minor, and others. None indicate that a traffic crash of a bicyclist is just cause for removing a license.

    I don’t claim to know enough about the judicial system to know if a judge can remove a drivers’ license for “any reason”. The post above was to indicate that traffic citations of a cyclist will not affect the motor vehicle drivers’ license through the usual point system or financial responsibility.

  3. jon says:

    Can’t really say anything about it having to do with relation to bicycle law or not, BUT let me give you an example….

    If you are riding a bicycle, DRUNK, you CAN and WILL lose your Driving Privaleges if you have a DL already.

    If you are riding a BOAT drunk, you CAN and WILL lose your Driving Privaelegs…

    With NEITHER of those, do you NEED a DL to ride/drive, however, a judge can and will revoke your license for DUI infractions.

    It’s a matter of law, that a Judge, within his right, can suspend or revoke your driving privaleges, for any reason. The rationale is, that driving is a PRIVELEGE, NOT a right, and to “punish” you a judge can revoke that privalege at his/her discretion… Ask ANY officer, ASA or Judge, and you will get the same answer.

    Since a Boat and A Bicycle are BOTH Vehicles, you still must obey any and all laws regarding VEHICLE LAW…

    I will try to find specific statutes for you to display…

  4. Geo says:

    Although in the common usage a boat may be a vehicle, is is not for the purpose of traffic laws.

    s. 316.003 – Definitions
    (75) VEHICLE.–Every device, in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a HIGHWAY, excepting devices used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.

    And your are certainly correct that bicyclists are operating vehicles and must obey all applicable traffic laws.

    s. 316.2065 -Bicycle Regulations
    (1) Every person propelling a vehicle by human power has all of the rights and all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this chapter, except as to special regulations in this chapter, and except as to provisions of this chapter which by their nature can have no application.

    If you know of statutes about bicyclists and the loss of a drivers’ license, please provide that information. Let’s try to stay on point in this string though, since this site is intended to discuss the laws as they relate to bicycling.

  5. unk says:

    how do i get bike ticket to court. They should a new law should not be against driver lisence .

  6. Frank says:

    Give more details…
    What are you asking.

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