Are Motorcycle Helmets Required by Law in Florida?
Bill Allen | October 3, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
There is no disputing the evidence – like seat belts can save the life of car occupants, helmets save motorcyclists’ lives.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that in a recent year, helmet use saved 1,872 lives and could have saved 749 additional lives. Additionally, helmet use can reduce the risk of a head injury by 69 percent.
Because of these safety benefits, states like Alabama, California, Georgia, and Louisiana are just some of the states that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. Some of these states expand their helmet laws to include mopeds and other vehicles similar to motorcycles.
Helmet Use in Florida: What Is the Law?
According to Florida law and as summarized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Florida does not require all motorcyclists to wear helmets when they ride. If a rider is under the age of 21 or does not have sufficient health insurance coverage, the rider is required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
The law is written to require a person to both be 21 years of age or older and carry health insurance with at least $10,000 in medical benefits. If the person does not meet both requirements, they must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle.
Florida’s helmet law applies to individuals who “operate or ride upon” motorcycles, which includes passengers. In addition, Florida’s helmet law also applies to mopeds. Specifically, moped riders under the age of 16 must wear a helmet while riding their mopeds.
The helmet law does not apply if a person is riding inside an enclosed cab or compartment.
The law also does not apply to individuals who are at least 16 years of age who are riding a motorcycle with a displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less or a rating of less than two brake horsepower and which is not capable of exceeding 30 miles per hour on flat terrain.
How Florida’s Helmet Law Is Enforced
Individuals who violate Florida’s helmet law may find themselves cited with a non-moving violation. The offense would be punishable with a fine but will not add points to your license. In addition, most insurance companies will not increase your premiums if you receive a ticket for not wearing a helmet.
Enforcing this law can be challenging for law enforcement, as determining someone’s age from sight alone is difficult. To help with this, Florida’s helmet law requires any motorcycle that is registered to someone under 21 years of age to be equipped with a distinctive license plate.
Even so, law enforcement may hesitate to stop you for not wearing a helmet unless it is clear you are traveling with a child who is not wearing a helmet. Instead, you are more likely to receive a no helmet ticket after you have been pulled over for some other traffic offense like speeding.
Only Approved Helmets Are Permitted
If you are required to wear a helmet, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles maintains a list of helmets and headgear approved for use. Wearing a helmet that the department does not approve of is treated as if you are not wearing a helmet at all, and you may be cited under the helmet law.
Wearing a Helmet Is Still a Good Idea in Florida
Even though Florida gives many motorcyclists the option to not wear a helmet, wearing a helmet provides many safety benefits and advantages in the event of a motorcycle crash. If you choose to take the roads on your motorcycle, it is advised that you do so with a properly fitted and approved helmet protecting your head.
Contact Our Ocala Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Ocala motorcycle accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We have three convenient locations in North Central Florida: