Every state in America has the right to create and enforce its own helmet laws for motorcyclists. Some states’ laws require helmets to be worn at all times, while regulations in other states allows for optional helmet use.
The state of Florida has actually teeter-tottered on this issue, going back and forth on the necessity of helmet use. In the 1970s, helmet use was required by law. That was later repealed by Governor Jeb Bush in 2000, allowing anyone over 21 to ride unprotected as long as they had adequate insurance coverage. However, the state’s helmet law was rewritten once again to encompass a variety of regulations.
Florida Helmet Regulations
The 2016 Florida laws for motor vehicles and motorcycles specifically address who must wear helmets, when they must wear helmets, and noteworthy exceptions to the law. The basic rule is that if you’re over sixteen and are going to ride a motorcycle within Florida borders, you must wear sanctioned protective headgear—approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety Standard 218—at all times. The headgear should be securely fastened and incapable of sliding or falling off.
Additional rules include:
- Eyewear mandates. A cyclist is prohibited from riding a motorcycle or moped unless his helmet is equipped with eye protection, or he has a separate protective device that completely shields his eyes from potential weather and road injuries. If the vehicle has an enclosed cab, a helmet is still required but eyewear is not necessary.
- Insurance exceptions. If you are over 21 years of age, Florida law states that you may operate or ride upon a motorcycle without a helmet if and only if you’re covered by an insurance policy that provides a minimum of $10,000 coverage for injuries (head or otherwise) that might result from a motorcycle accident.
- Vehicle exceptions. A helmet is not required for riders who are 16 years old or older when riding a motorcycle or moped that cannot exceed 30 mph, has less than two horsepower, or has a motor displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters. If the vehicle exceeds any of the above qualifications, the rider (no matter his age) must wear full protective headgear.
Use Our Resources for Guidance
Despite whatever your personal opinion may be on the necessity of helmet use, Florida laws are clear when it comes motorcycle and moped safety. For more insight into Florida motorcycle laws and accident safety, feel free to browse our extensive library of articles. We’ve spent our careers studying and gathering information on motorcyclist rights, accident prevention, and injury compensation for your benefit; let our tireless efforts help you better understand your motorcycle rights and options.
We also encourage you to contact us directly for answers to any concerns or questions you may have about a recent accident. We’re here to help.