Riding a motorcycle or bicycle can be enjoyable, but it also carries numerous risks – such as falling, engine troubles, and accidents with other vehicles. Before getting on the road, it’s essential to know Florida’s legal requirements for wearing a helmet.
Helmet use is estimated to reduce the risk of motorcycle-related deaths by 37% and the risk of bicycle-related deaths by 52%, and helmets prevent 85% of fatalities among children under 16 who participate in sports or recreational activities on bicycles.
Florida law requires that bicycle riders 16 and under wear helmets. For bicyclists 17 and up, helmets are a matter of personal preference.
Mopeds or Vespas
Florida does not require people 16 years of age or older riding a moped or Vespa that’s not capable of driving over 30 miles per hour to wear helmets.
A person may not operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless the person is properly wearing protective headgear security fastened upon his or her head which complies with Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle policy.
However, an individual over the age of 21 who is licensed to operate a motorcycle in Florida and is covered by an insurance policy with at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries incurred as a result of a crash while operating or riding on a motorcycle, may opt to not wear a helmet.
All motorcycle riders are required by law to wear appropriate eye protection. There are no exemptions for eye protection.
Anyone who rides in an enclosed sidecar is not subject to Florida’s helmet or eye protection laws.
Penalties for Violating Florida’s Helmet Laws
A person found guilty of violating the helmet law may be subject to a fine of $30 for the first offense and $60 for each subsequent offense within 12 months. The court may also require violators to attend motorcycle safety courses before adjudication or sentencing.