Motorized Bike in Bay County

Question

Dale asked: In Bay County FL can you have a motorized bikecycle on the streets?

Answer

I assume you refer to a bicycle with an electric assist motor that meets the definition of bicycle in the statutes.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(3) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. A person under the age of 16 may not operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

Lacking a local ordinance to the contrary, the driver of such a vehicle may operate like any other bicycle on the roadway and no driver’s license or registration is required.  You cannot operate a motorized vehicle on a sidewalk.

I can find no roadway restrictions in the Bay County Muni Codes. You can search the local regulations here. You may need to paste this link into your browser.

https://library.municode.com/fl/bay_county/codes/code_of_ordinances

If your bicycle is powered by a gas assist motor it must be registered as a moped and a driver’s license is required.

http://flbikelaw.org/2014/07/gas-motors-on-bicycles-at-last-final-answer/

Posted in Ask Geo, Motorized Bicycles
7 comments on “Motorized Bike in Bay County
  1. Ralph Russo says:

    how about a 3 wheel scooter(battery) on sidewalk for a person(80+ years)who couldnt/shouldn’t ,walk more that 2 miles at a time- maybe one with a caband/or truck back-for grocery shopping.- polk and lake counties, florida.

    • HarryB says:

      As Geo noted, Florida statute § 316.1995 forbids anyone from operating a vehicle on a sidewalk unless it is propelled solely by human power (motorized wheelchairs are exempted from this restriction). However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that supersedes this prohibition in some cases.

      In the context of your question, the ADA has been interpreted to mean that people with certain disabilities may use certain motorized devices to travel almost anywhere a person without a mobility impairment may travel. Typically, such a person may use a motorized wheelchair or “other power-driven mobility device” (OPDMD) to travel upon a sidewalk for whatever reason.

      I have found the “ADA Requirements: Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices” to be helpful in understanding this issue: https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.pdf

      • ralph roussesu (russo) says:

        ada -was very good – but unprintable from computor – guess gov. doestnt want to be held responsable – if I should drive a scooter- anyplace. guess I”ll just be stuck at home-

  2. HarryB says:

    Ralph,

    Although the publication to which I provided the link was written for governments and businesses that provide access to the public, it is the most concise document I’m aware of that addresses your question. I think this sentence summarizes the document: “People with disabilities have the right to choose whatever mobility device best suits their needs.”

    In other words, if you have, or are eligible for, a disability card, placard, or license, your mobility impairment is covered by the ADA, and you may operate any motorized device that meets the ADA’s definition of OPDMD on sidewalks.

    I encourage you call the ADA Information Line (800-514-0301) if you have any questions, because you do not need to be confined to your home because of a physical impairment.

  3. Geo says:

    Ralph,

    This is the only reference I can find to vehicles available to someone with certain limitations. I can find no further guidance from the FLDHSMV as required in the traffic statute below. There is also no specific mention of driving such a vehicle anywhere other than indicated by the statutes about other motor vehicles, and nothing that is specific to sidewalks, shared-use trails or bike paths. As HarryB says, it may be covered by the ADA but there is no such mention in Florida statutes that I can find. The ADA is beyond the scope of this site.

    s. 320.01 – Definitions, General. (This chapter deals with motor vehicle licenses, not driver’s licenses or traffic law.)

    (33) “Motorized disability access vehicle” means a vehicle designed primarily for handicapped individuals with normal upper body abilities and designed to be fueled by gasoline, travel on not more than three wheels, with a motor rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground, and with a power-drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting gears by the operator after the drive system is engaged. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters.

    s. 316.2124 – Motorized Disability Access Vehicles
    The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is directed to provide, by rule, for the regulation of motorized disability access vehicles as described in s. 320.01. The department shall provide that motorized disability access vehicles shall be registered in the same manner as motorcycles and shall pay the same registration fee as for a motorcycle. There shall also be assessed, in addition to the registration fee, a $2.50 surcharge for motorized disability access vehicles. This surcharge shall be paid into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. Motorized disability access vehicles shall not be required to be titled by the department. The department shall require motorized disability access vehicles to be subject to the same safety requirements as set forth in this chapter for motorcycles.

    • ralph rousseau(russo) says:

      what about Battery operated 3 wheel truck(?) etc. like the ones seen all over driven by the state/county with NO licience showing.

  4. Geo says:

    I don’t have any information about those particular vehicles. It may be that the local authorities have passed regulations or ordinances that permit their use under certain circumstances.

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