Passengers in a Bike Trailer
Robert asked: I bought a trailer to carry cargo. It has 180 pound max capacity. The question I have, since this is our only transportation, I would like to carry a passenger on the trailer once in a while, not an everyday thing anyway. Is it legal to do so? I’m new to this and want to be legal. The passenger is older than 16 and the bike equipped with dual disk brakes.
The following are the regulations about passengers and bike trailers.
s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
(2) A person operating a bicycle may not ride other than upon or astride a permanent and regular seat attached thereto.
(3)(a) A bicycle may not be used to carry more persons at one time than the number for which it is designed or equipped, except that an adult rider may carry a child securely attached to his or her person in a backpack or sling.
(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a), a bicycle rider must carry any passenger who is a child under 4 years of age, or who weighs 40 pounds or less, in a seat or carrier that is designed to carry a child of that age or size and that secures and protects the child from the moving parts of the bicycle.
(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 ….. As used in this subsection, the term “passenger” includes a child who is riding in a trailer or semitrailer attached to a bicycle.
(4) …. This subsection does not prohibit attaching a bicycle trailer or bicycle semitrailer to a bicycle if that trailer or semitrailer is commercially available and has been designed for such attachment.
There is no mention of an adult passenger riding in the trailer. The only specific prohibition to passengers riding in trailers that I found relates to house trailers.
s. 316.2014 – Riding in House Trailers
No person or persons shall occupy a house trailer while it is being moved upon a public street or highway.
They make trailers for children to ride in so I don’t see why you couldn’t. If you get stopped worry about it then.
A curious aspect of this statute (4) is that it requires the trailer to be commercially available. Many people are capable of constructing a safe bike trailer, but would be in violation of the statute. It would be easy enough to have a vinyl label made with a fictitious name and some mumbo-jumbo to make the home-made trailer appear to have been commercially produced.
As long as you mark it like it is for sale or you are willing to build one for a price, that seems that it would make said trailer commercially available.