Motorized Bicycle Age
Steven asked: What is the penalty for someone driving a motorized bicycle in Florida and they are less than 16 years old?
Good question. The applicable statute is:
s. 316.003 – Definitions
(2) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor …. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.
I cannot find a specific answer in the “penalties” section of the statutes. If someone has an answer, please comment below.
If the underage operator is stopped, it is likely that such a vehicle would be impounded by the police for safety reasons. There would probably be costs to recover the vehicle.
There may also be possibly criminal charges of something like child neglect or potential liability issues for someone who allows an underage person to operate the eBike in the event of an damage to property or injury or death of the operator or others.
Section 316.18(1)(c) states that the penalty is $15 for “Other violations of chapter 316 by persons 14 years of age or under who are operating bicycles, regardless of the noncriminal traffic infraction’s classification”. As a “motorized bicycle” (e-bike) is defined as a type of bicycle, this would appear to cover the violation of operating an e-bike while aged 14 or less. I don’t find anything that appears to address what the penalty would be for a 15-year-old.
The actual amount of a traffic fine is usually quite a bit more than the basic penalty amount, because various surcharges and county court costs are added. For a violation that involves a basic penalty of $15, the total amount one has to pay can be $60 or more. Each county clerk of courts website usually (at least, in larger counties) includes a page that lists total traffic fine amounts.
Thanks for the help on that. I missed it.