All motorists must comply with a wide range of traffic laws but motorcyclists face additional regulation. These traffic laws for motorcyclists in St. Augustine are important and a failure to follow them could lead to dangerous collisions. Unfortunately, accidents happen even for riders that carefully comply with all St. Augustine traffic laws for motorists. When these accidents happen, a motorcycle accident attorney might be able to help you recover damages from the responsible party.
Traffic Laws in General
The rules of the road that apply to cars and trucks in St. Augustine are also of critical importance to motorcyclists. These regulatiosn form the foundation for vehicle safety, and riders that fail to comply with these rules could put every other person on the road at risk.
Regulations like speed limits apply to motorcyclists just the same as with other motorists. The same is true for most moving violations, including:
- Failure to yield
- Following too close
- Stop sign violations
- Failure to signal
- Driving while intoxicated
Traffic Laws Unique to Motorcyclists
Due to the danger posed by of their smaller size, curb weight, and lack of a closed cab, motorcycles also have additional regulations that do not apply to cars or trucks. Florida Statute Section 316.209 governs the operation of motorcycles on St. Augustine roadways setting out the rights and duties for motorcyclists.
First and foremost, the statute guarantees motorcyclists the same right to use the full lane of a roadway as other vehicles. Motorists may not encroach into a motorcycle rider’s lane, no matter how much of the lane they are using. At no point may a driver deprive a motorcyclist of the full use of the lane they occupy.
Most of this statute is dedicated to the responsibilities of motorcycle riders. While riders may pass vehicles in accordance with state law like a four wheeled vehicle, they may not pass a vehicle in the same lane. Riders must use a passing lane or other option allowed by law like every other driver.
The exception to this rule involves two motorcyclists riding abreast. While two riders may ride side by side in the same lane, three or more riders are prohibited. It is also illegal to ride in between two lanes of traffic, commonly known as lane splitting.
Motorcycle Equipment Regulations
State law also mandates the use of equipment in certain situations. A helmet is always mandatory for drivers under the age of 21. Drivers 21 years and up may only ride without a helmet if they maintain medical insurance coverage of at least $10,000. In addition to helmets, state law also requires the use of protective eyewear at all times for all riders, regardless of age or experience.
There are also regulations regarding the height of a motorcycle’s handlebars. While long, decorative handlebars are allowed, they may not be higher than a rider’s shoulders. This means that many “ape hanger” handlebars are prohibited by law and may reduce a biker’s ability to recover compensation in the event of a crash. While passengers are permitted on motorcycles, each passenger must have a designated seat and footrest according to the traffic laws for motorcyclists in St. Augustine.
How St. Augustine Traffic Laws Could Impact a Motorcyclists Injury Claim
When a rider violates these traffic laws, it could impact their ability to recover in a personal injury claim. Every collision is different, and it is important to discuss your options with an experienced attorney before proceeding with a claim.
If you are curious how certain St. Augustine traffic laws for motorcyclists could impact your personal injury claim, consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Call today to start working on your case and learn more about your rights.