Helmets

Question

Richard asked: Is it a requirement for adults to wear a bicycle helmet when riding a bicycle?  Do all law enforcement officers who ride a bicycle in the performance of their duties wear a bicycle helmet? Does the State of Florida recommend all bicycle riders wear a bicycle helmet?

Answer

Bicyclists under the age of 16 are required to wear helmets in Florida.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(d) A bicycle rider or passenger who is under 16 years of age must wear a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and is fastened securely upon the passenger’s head by a strap and that meets the federal safety standard for bicycle helmets ….

Note that the statute requires the helmet to be properly fitted and securely fastened, and applies everywhere.  It does not limit the requirement to just roadways or sidewalks.

I believe that all officers that are members of bike units and on official duty are required by department policy to wear helmets, but not by statute.  The police bicycle training organizations, International Police Mountain Bicycle Association and Law Enforcement Bicycle Association, require the use of helmets at their training programs and other events.

Adults are not required to wear helmets but the Florida Bicycle Association and all Florida agencies that I know of highly recommend it. All bicycle clubs that I know of and other organizations require riders to wear helmets for their events for safety and liability reasons.

For more information, see:

http://flbikelaw.org/2010/07/bicycle-helmets/

or click on the “helmets” tag in the tag cloud.

Posted in Ask Geo, Helmets Tagged with:
6 comments on “Helmets
  1. Reina says:

    I was told that there is a new ruling for gas bicycles. Is it true the new ruling states that you must have a drivers license to ride these bikes

    • Dwight says:

      An officer can (still) ask a rider of a gas-powered bicycle to show a driver license. The chapter on driver licenses in the Motor Vehicles title of Florida Statutes is chapter 322. Section 322.03 (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0322/Sections/0322.03.html ) requires a person driving a “motor vehicle” to have a valid driver’s license. Section 322.01(27) defines “motor vehicle” as “any self-propelled vehicle, including a motor vehicle combination, not operated upon rails or guideway, excluding vehicles moved solely by human power, motorized wheelchairs, and motorized bicycles as defined in s. 316.003″. The definition of “motorized bicycle” in s. 316.003 has not changed, though; it still does not include gas-powered bicycles.

      The DHSMV’s page about driver licenses (http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/dlclass.html ) explains what vehicles a Class E license is needed for:
      “Any non-commercial motor vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 26,001 pounds, including passenger cars, 15 passenger vans including the driver, trucks or recreational vehicles and two or three wheel motor vehicles 50 cc or less, such as mopeds or small scooters. “

      • Frank says:

        The officer can ask you for your drivers license AND also give you a ticket for driving an unregistered motor vehicle (which is just as bad as an unlicensed driver, if not worse, fines wise). So the point is..
        Gas powered bicycle on private property only..
        Just buy an electric bicycle and you’ll be fine, as long as it adheres to the statutory definition of one.

      • Frank says:

        The officer shouldn’t have to ask for a drivers license, since you should be on your own property and NOT on public roadways.
        It’s been argued many times..
        Putting a gas motor on a bicycle, turns it into an unregisterable motor vehicle.
        Plain and simple.

  2. Frank says:

    That is nothing new, per se.
    A gas powered bicycle would require registration as a moped. And as of this date, no bicycle is allowed to be registered as such.
    The DMV has stated that such bicycles are NOT allowed on public roadways or sidewalks or anywhere else other than private property.
    You would need to contact your local tag office and find out what the safety requirements and build structure of a homemade moped would be and build your conveyance to such requisites..
    FYI.. No BICYCLE with a gas motor would ever be accepted, as the frame and tires are not DOT approved, nor do any manufacturers get such approval..
    You would need to buy a moped frame, as those are dot approved and come with VIN numbers.

2 Pings/Trackbacks for "Helmets"
  1. Bicycle-Related Accidents Claiming More Lives says:

    […] Helmet laws can help protect riders involved in crashes, but only 21 states require youngsters to wear a helmet and no state has a universal helmet law. In Florida, any bicycle rider or passenger under 16 must wear a helmet that is fastened securely and meets federal safety standards, according to Florida Bicycle Law. […]

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