Oscar asked: I got stopped by a police officer in the City of Miami for running a red light. The police asked me for my Florida License and I did not have it with me at the time, just a photo ID. The officer insisted to have my driver license and asked me for my social security number to get cross-reference in the system.
After I provide the number to him, he went back to the car spent 5 mins and came back with a moving violation ticket for running a red light, violation statute 316.075 1c1.
Follow this incident and his insistence, I went to the court to see if I could pay or appeal the ticket. The court clerk, has not see a ticket issued to a bicycle before and he was confused because the violation that I got was for a motor vehicle and i am getting 3 point to my driver license.
I decided to appeal the ticket. I went to the pre-trial and the hearing officer set up a trial for me and when I asked about the points to my driver’s license, his answer was yes. Can you explain me how this works? Do I need a Florida driver’s license for bicycle? Can I get points towards my driver license?
You do not need a driver’s license to operate a bicycle. A bicycle is not a motor vehicle.
Chapter 322 – Driver Licenses
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 license issued under this chapter.
s. 322.01 – Definitions
(27) “Motor vehicle” means any self-propelled vehicle, …. excluding vehicles moved solely by human power ….
While a driver’s license is not required to operate a bicycle, we do highly recommend carrying proper identification to facilitate identification in the event of a crash or other incident.
Notice that the statute for which you were cited applies to vehicular traffic, which includes bicycles, and not just motor vehicles. Since you are operating a vehicle you can be cited for running a red light, as well as other driving offenses.
s. 316.075 – Traffic Control Signal Devices
(1) …. the lights shall indicate and apply to drivers of vehicles and pedestrians as follows:
(c) Steady red indication.
1. Vehicular traffic facing a steady red signal shall stop before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection and shall remain standing until a green indication is shown
If the citation says you were operating a motor vehicle, it is incorrect. A bicycle is a vehicle, but not a motor vehicle.
You cannot get points against your driver’s license for a violation while on a bicycle, even a moving violation such as this. The point system is established for violations while operating a motor vehicle, which requires a driver’s license. Bicycles are not motor vehicles.
s. 322.27 – Authority of Department to Suspend or Revoke License
(1) Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in chapter 120, the department is hereby authorized to suspend the license ….
(3) There is established a point system for evaluation of convictions of violations of motor vehicle laws or ordinances ….
(i) This subsection shall not apply to persons operating a non-motorized vehicle for which a driver’s license is not required.
Based on what you have provided, it appears you did violate the statute quoted on the ticket and will be fined accordingly, but you should not receive points against your driver’s license.