Understanding Florida Motorcycle Helmet Laws
Helmet requirements are a legal jurisdiction largely invested in state’s rights. What this means is that these laws can vary widely throughout different states, and the state of Florida is no exception. Florida’s helmet law contains multiple stipulations and can be hard to understand. Before contacting an auto accident lawyer, here is a general explanation and guide of the current legislation.
Three Primary Stipulations
· What vehicles are affected: the FL helmet laws do not apply to enclosed vehicles and lawfully operated motorcycles and mopeds that are small enough to not pose danger in an accident. These motorcycles specifically have engines with 50 cubic centimeters or less displacement or has less than 2 brake horsepower. Put simply, motorcycles that cannot exceed a ground speed of 30 miles per hour do not have helmet requirements.
· Who does not have to wear a helmet: There are two qualifications that enable you to ride without a helmet: age and insurance. If you are at least 21 years old and have an insurance policy that covers at least $10,000 in medical damages for potential motorcycle crashes, you do not have to wear a helmet when driving.
· Minors under 16: If you're not yet 16 years of age, you may still be able to drive smaller vehicles and mopeds. However, in any case, you always have to wear a proper helmet.
Why Is This Law Necessary?
The FL State Legislature and Supreme Court have ruled that motorcyclists differ from other drivers in that flying objects pose much more of a risk in creating an accident. In order to prevent such occurrences, a helmet is believed to be both a protective layer to the driver, as well as a shield to flying objects.
Is This Law Constitutional?
Many who claim that these helmet requirements are unconstitutional cite their rights to privacy and argue that it is an unnecessary infringement of the government into their personal lives. The legal argument, however, is that this law necessarily protects the driver’s health and the health of others that may be endangered in an accident.
In summary, this law dictates that any person that does not have specific medical insurance or that is under the age of 21 must always wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. Before any potential accident involving a motorcycle, it's important to understand the law in detail. This way, when consulting a car accident and personal injury lawyer in Lakewood Ranch, FL, you can easily assess your legal protections.