Radios on Bicycles

Question

Johnny asked: Is there any bicycle law that disallows the use of a small PA speaker? I have a small CB radio connected on my bike and was wondering if I could hook up a small PA speaker to it. It wouldn’t be very loud.  Not even HALF the volume of let’s say a car horn.

P.S. I DO have a car horn hooked up to my bike too…  It has been the best “safety feature”, I could have ever added!

Answer

There is no state statute that prohibits a speaker on a bicycle. I see cyclists regularly that have music playing through speakers attached to the bicycle.

The only limitations on radios or other speakers are specific to motor vehicles and the statute does not mention bicycles.

s. 316.3045Operation of Radios or Other Mechanical Soundmaking Devices or Instruments in Vehicles; Exemptions

(1) It is unlawful for any person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on a street or highway to operate or amplify the sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical soundmaking device or instrument from within the motor vehicle so that the sound is:

(a) Plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle; or

(b) Louder than necessary for the convenient hearing by persons inside the vehicle in areas adjoining churches, schools, or hospitals.

Noise limits are regulated by statute for all vehicles, however the limits are only specified for motor vehicles.

s. 316.293Motor Vehicle Noise

(2) Operating Noise Limits – No person shall operate or be permitted to operate a vehicle at any time …. in such a manner as to generate a sound level in excess of the following limit for the category of motor vehicle and applicable speed limit at a distance of 50 feet from the center of the lane of travel ….

The statute states different noise levels for different types of motor vehicles, but no mention is made of bicycles.

Motor vehicles must be equipped with horns and certain sound producing devices are prohibited from all vehicles, including bicycles.

s. 316.271Horns and Warning Devices

(1) Every motor vehicle when operated upon a highway shall be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than 200 feet.

(2) No horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.

(4) No vehicle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use upon a vehicle, any siren, whistle, or bell ….

Television sets in motor vehicles must not within view of the driver, but apparently we can use them on our bicycles.

s. 316.303Television Receivers

(1) No motor vehicle operated on the highways of this state shall be equipped with television-type receiving equipment so located that the viewer or screen is visible from the driver’s seat.

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One comment on “Radios on Bicycles
  1. SpecialX says:

    You’re kidding me?
    A bell on a bicycle is not permitted by statute?
    LOL
    Then most people are breaking the law.

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