Whether you’re an experienced rider or a novice with his first two-wheeler, a motorcycle accident can’t be predicted, and are often catastrophic for the rider. Motorcycle laws are in place to address rider and motorcycle safety as well as decrease injury risks.
For instance, all motor-powered cycles, including scooters and mopeds, must be registered just like any other vehicle. To obtain a regular motorcycle license plate in Florida, you must verify your bike’s registration every year. This law helps keep track of how many cycles are on the road, which aids in statistical safety analyses.
Though registration is required, motorcyclists in Florida aren't obliged to provide evidence of annual safety inspections to receive a plate. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore annual tune-ups.
Motorcycle Inspection Safety
More than 30 years ago, Floridian motorcyclists had to go through annual safety checks of their bikes to ensure mechanical safety. However, in 1981, the law was abolished as a result of complaints of long lines at inspection stations; a want to decrease the $50 million cost of enforcing the law; and because Florida met federal standards for air quality at the time.
Since then, Florida has become the third highest ranking state for motorcycle fatalities. Although this increase cannot be entirely blamed on lack of vehicle inspections, considering the risks involved for Florida motorcyclists, any safety advantage shouldn't be ignored.
Voluntary, routine inspections not only guarantee a longer life for your bike, but also help you prevent the following:
- Mechanical failure accidents. The most important reason to inspect your motorcycle is your safety. Defects, malfunctions, and broken parts may all contribute to a collision or make injuries worse. However, a yearly safety inspection can catch problems before they affect control.
Motorcycles have eight basic systems:
- Fuel tank and lines
- Frame and suspension
- Wheels, tires, and brakes
- Drive train
- Controls and gauges
To an untrained eye, warning signs and pre-emptive concerns may go unnoticed until it is too late.
- Pull overs. Despite the fact that routine inspections aren’t required, you’re still expected to maintain your motorcycle. Therefore, any police officer with reasonable cause may at any time require you to stop and submit the motorcycle to an inspection. Reasonable cause includes suspicion that your motorcycle may be unfit, ill-equipped, or dangerous to others.
- Environmental damage. An annual check-up allows inspectors to verify the amount of harmful ozone-forming emissions and whether your motorcycle meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s emission standards.
For more information on motorcycle safety, please feel free to browse our informative library of blogs and frequently asked questions. Here’s one to get you started: Essential Motorcycle Safety Gear to Avoid Severe Injury.