Slow Moving Vehicle Sign on a Bicycle

Question

Mike asked: is it allowed in FL to put a large reflective orange triangle SMV sign that would normally go on a tractor or horse and buggy on the back of my bike?

Answer

The Bicycle Regulations has a provision for the use of additional lights and reflectors that seems to include these signs if used in addition to the required lights and reflectors.

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(7)Every bicycle in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a lamp on the front exhibiting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a lamp and reflector on the rear each exhibiting a red light visible from a distance of 600 feet to the rear. A bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors in addition to those required by this section.

The statute does not limit the lights or reflectors to any type, and we previously determined that very bright lights can be used. See this post:

http://flbikelaw.org/2009/11/bicycle-lights/

The use of the SMV sign seems to be acceptable as an additional reflector.

The Chapter dealing with motor vehicle licenses defines a low-speed vehicle. It does not include bicycles.

Chapter 320 – Motor Vehicle Licenses

320.01 – Definitions, General

(41) “Low-speed vehicle” means any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour, including, but not limited to, neighborhood electric vehicles.

The use of the triangular slow moving vehicle sign is required for certain vehicles which are described in this statute and are slightly different from the low-speed vehicle described above.

s. 316.2225Additional Equipment Required on Certain Vehicles

In addition to other equipment required in this chapter, the following vehicles shall be equipped as herein stated….

(7) On every slow-moving vehicle or equipment, animal-drawn vehicle, or other machinery designed for use and speeds less than 25 miles per hour, including all road construction and maintenance machinery except when engaged in actual construction or maintenance work either guarded by a flagger or a clearly visible warning sign, which normally travels or is normally used at a speed of less than 25 miles per hour and which is operated on a public highway:

(a) A triangular slow-moving vehicle emblem SMV as described in, and displayed as provided in paragraph (b). The requirement of the emblem shall be in addition to any other equipment required by law. The emblem shall not be displayed on objects which are customarily stationary in use except while being transported on the roadway of any public highway of this state.

(b) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall adopt such rules and regulations as are required to carry out the purpose of this section. The requirements of such rules and regulations shall incorporate the current specifications for SMV emblems of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers.

Although the statute is directed at certain vehicles, it seems possible that a case could be made the use of the SMV signs for some bicycles to be included in the description above for “every slow-moving vehicle or equipment, animal-drawn vehicle, or other machinery designed for use and speeds less than 25 miles per hour”, but obviously the speed of most bicycles can be greater than 25 miles per hour depending on the operator. They are not designed for use and speeds of less than 25 miles per hour.

I couldn’t access the ASAE specifications or the DHSMV regulations referred to in the statute above, and I couldn’t find any statutory prohibition to the use of the SMV signs on bicycles.

Posted in Ask Geo, Bicycle Equipment Tagged with: ,

Leave a Reply