Are you the type of person who enjoys getting around on a moped or motorized scooter? Have you come to find that it’s a great way to save both time and money? In Florida, the use of mopeds and scooters is a way of life for many people, but it comes with the risk of injury from serious moped accidents.
If you’re going to rely on this mode of transportation, there are three things to keep in mind:
- There are laws that pertain to this type of transportation.
- There are insurance implications to consider.
- You’re always at risk of an accident, such as with a motor vehicle.
In other words, don’t hop on your moped or scooter, hit the road, and hope for the best. Your well-being and future are too important for that.
Florida laws and safety regulations to prevent moped accidents
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that scooters and mopeds are treated in the same manner—in regards to the law—as bicycles or motorcycles.
However, this isn’t the case, as these vehicles are unique in a variety of ways.
Here is how the state of Florida defines a moped:
- Has either a saddle or a seat for a driver
- Has either two or three wheels
- Has pedals and the ability to be controlled by a human
- A motor with no more than two brake horsepower (BHP)
- Engine displacement of no more than 50 cubic centimeters (cc) (if it uses an internal combustion engine)
- The use of an automatic transmission
- A maximum speed of 30 miles per hour
With that out of the way, there are two other requirements for legally operating a moped in Florida:
- You must be at least 16 years of age
- You must have either a “Motorcycle Only” driver’s license or Class E license
Along with the above, the law requires that you register your moped with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). It’s also your responsibility to renew the registration every year.
Note: the state will issue you a plate that must be on the moped at all times.
Even though it’s a good idea to wear as much protection as possible, it’s not required by law in Florida. You are permitted to operate a moped without a helmet and eye protection.
The one exception to this rule is if you’re riding with someone younger than the age of 16. In that case, that person is required to wear a helmet while the moped is in motion.
In regards to where you can drive a moped, they’re street legal on all public roads in Florida. However, you are not permitted to operate a moped on a highway, including the shoulder of the road.
A moped is considered a motor vehicle, so you’re required to follow the same traffic laws as someone driving a car. For example, you must stop at all red lights, yield to pedestrians, and avoid driving while under the influence. Following the rules can reduce your risks of suffering serious moped accidents against larger cars and trucks.
The above information pertains only to mopeds. Motorized scooters do not fall under the same category, and these are not street-legal in Florida.
Per section 316.003(44) of Florida Statutes, an electric scooter is defined as a vehicle with no seat or saddle, no more than three wheels, and not capable of traveling faster than 30 miles per hour.
It’s against the law to operate a motorized scooter on either the road or sidewalk. For example, in Orange County, violating this law can result in a misdemeanor charge along with a fine.
Insurance requirements for scooters and mopeds
It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a moped or scooter, you’re not required by law to carry insurance.
Even though it’s not a requirement, it never hurts to have an insurance policy protecting you and your vehicle. This is especially true with scooter and moped accidents on the rise in many parts of the state.
For example, personal injury protection (PIP) could provide financial benefits if you’re involved in a collision, such as with a passenger vehicle.
Contact your insurance company to learn more about the options that are available to you.
Injured in a moped accident? Call our Daytona Beach injury lawyers
Even if you’re following the rules of the road, you could still suffer an injury in a moped or motorized scooter accident.
Here’s what you should do if that happens:
- Stay where you are to assess your injuries and administer first-aid
- Call 911 to request an ambulance and police assistance (ask a witness if you’re unable to do so)
- Take photos of the scene and your injuries (if possible)
- Accept treatment from the responding paramedics
- Obtain additional treatment at a local hospital
Once you understand your injuries, treatment plan, and prognosis, focus on the cause of the accident and the steps you can take to obtain compensation from the negligent party.
From current and future medical bills to lost wages, your moped accident can impact your finances.
Our experienced Daytona Beach personal injury lawyers are happy to review your case, answer your questions, and provide you with guidance throughout this stressful process. Zimmet & Zimmet offers its clients 40+ years of experience in Florida personal injury law. With our professional legal team on your side, you’ll feel more confident in your ability to protect your legal rights. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule a free consultation.