Mirrors

Question

Steven asked:  Since bikes must follow the rules of the road, is it required to install side view mirrors if we plan on biking on a road?

Answer

Although it is hardly known, the following statute applies to all vehicles.  A bicycle is a vehicle.

s. 316.294 – Mirrors

Every vehicle, operated singly or when towing any other vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the motor vehicle. 

s. 316.003 Definitions

(4) Bicycle – Every vehicle  ….

Many cyclists use small mirrors attached to their glasses or helmets.  Although effective, that may not meet the statutory requirement that the vehicle itself be equipped with a mirror.  

One comment on “Mirrors
  1. HarryB says:

    I do not understand how s. 316.294 can possibly apply to bicycles.

    Prior to the early 1960s, that law read: “Every motor vehicle which is so constructed or loaded as to obstruct the driver’s view to the rear thereof, from the driver’s position, shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of such vehicle.” (§ 317.64, Fla. Stat.)

    The legislature then revised that statute to read: “Every vehicle, operated singly or when towing any other vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least two hundred feet to the rear of such motor vehicle.” (§ 316.294)

    I submit that a careful reading of both statutes clearly shows the legislature meant to change the requirement for mirrors from *some* motor vehicles to *all* motor vehicles because the revised statute continues to restrict the type of vehicle to which it applies: “. . . of such motor vehicle.”

    This is another example of sloppy law making because this was also when bicycles were first defined as vehicles.

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