While Florida has strict laws regulating when and where children can ride in cars, there are no minimum age requirements for when children may ride as motorcycle passengers.
However, there are still some restrictions on passengers to ensure that both the operator and passengers are riding safely.
Florida Motorcycle Laws for Children and Passengers
Many parents who ride motorcycles regularly impress the importance of safe riding onto their children, while others may be unaware of the level of risk when riding with a minor. Operators have been charged with traffic violations, or offenses such as endangering a minor, depending on the manner in which they were riding.
Florida laws and safe riding practices suggest the following guidelines for riders with passengers:
- Helmet use. Florida motorcycle helmet law allows riders over 21 the option of not wearing a helmet as long as the he or she carries at least $10,000 in medical insurance. But if a passenger is under 21, he or she is required to wear a helmet at all times.
- Type of motorcycle. Florida laws prohibit carrying a passenger on motorcycles that don't have a dedicated passenger seat and passenger footrests. The seat must be able to hold both the operator and passenger without changing the operator’s normal riding position. If the passenger’s feet cannot reach the foot pegs, this can compromise the balance of the bike, and the operator may have difficulty claiming compensation after an accident.
- Safety precautions. Children should wear the same protective gear that is recommended for bike operators, including helmets and eyewear. The bike should be properly balanced and adjusted to carry passengers, and the rider should know how to adjust his or her handling technique to compensate for the added weight. If your child is riding in a carrier that has been secured to the back seat of the bike, make sure that it has been installed according to the manufacturer’s directions and has been properly tested before your child’s first ride.
If you were involved in a motorcycle accident while riding with a minor, Johnson & Gilbert, P.A. can give you the guidance you need while you recover from your injuries. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule your free case evaluation.