Riding a moped can be fun and a great way of cutting costs, especially now when gas prices are over the roof. Thanks to Florida’s relatively warm climate, you can ride your moped almost all year round, so check out these 5 Tips for Riding a Moped in Florida (Safely and Legally).
However, with highways in Florida being some of the busiest in America, the risk of getting into an accident can be relatively high. The good news is that there are several things you can do to ensure that you or your child are safe and operating your moped legally.
5 Tips for Riding a Moped in Florida (Safely and Legally)
1. You Need a License
You may not need a license if you buy a moped for enjoying rides on private property. But if you have plans to ride it on public roads, then you’ll need a moped license before you can start riding.
Florida laws consider mopeds as motor vehicles that have:
- Pedals that are operable by human power
- Two to three wheels
- A seat or saddle for the rider
- A motor with a maximum of 2BHP
- A 50cc or less displacement engine if it is gas-powered
- A speed not exceeding 39mph on level ground
- Has automatic transmission
2. Other Legal Requirements
A license is not the only legal requirement for riding a moped in Florida. The rider must be above 16. Also, the moped must have valid license plate tags at all times. To get your license plate tags, register your moped with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
While the tags may be smaller than the standard car tags because of the small size of the moped, failure to have valid license plate tags can result in fines or having your moped license withdrawn. Like other vehicle license plates, you must renew them yearly.
the Most Important of these 5 Tips for Riding a Moped in Florida (Safely and Legally)
3. Wear a Helmet
There is no legal requirement for wearing a helmet when riding a moped on Florida roads. However, road safety experts recommend having one for safety reasons.
After all, you lack the protection that vehicle occupants enjoy when riding a moped, meaning that your body will have to bear the full brunt of an impact.
While a helmet may not do much in protecting the other parts of the body in a high-speed accident, it will protect your head against impact, which can otherwise cause catastrophic traumatic brain injuries or even death.
If you intend to carry a passenger aged below 16 on your moped, the law requires that they have their helmets on.
4. Follow Traffic Rules
Since mopeds are considered motor vehicles by the Florida DMV, you must abide by the same traffic rules as other road users.
For example, you will need to use turn signals when making a turn, stop and read lights and signs, ride on the right side of the road, yield the right of way when necessary, and avoid operating while intoxicated.
Like other slow-moving vehicles, mopeds must use the right-most lane to allow other vehicles to pass unless it is dangerous to ride in the lane or when making a turn.
5. Get the Right Gear
Besides the helmet, investing in the right moped riding gear is a good idea. For example, you will need to invest in brightly colored clothes to increase your visibility because mopeds are small in size and hard to spot, making them more likely to get hit by other vehicles.
You may also consider getting padded clothes designed specifically for riders. Padded clothes protect your body from scratches and bruises if an accident sends you skidding on the road.
Also, avoid wearing open-toe shoes or sandals so they don’t get caught in the pedals, which can result in an accident.