Can Kids Legally Ride on Backs of Motorcycles in Miami, FL?
February 16, 2022 | Sagi Shaked | Motorcycle Accidents
Miami weather makes it enjoyable to ride a motorcycle all year. Plus, traveling on a bike can make getting through tough Miami traffic a lot easier. Adults have so much fun on bikes that kids often want to share in the fun, too. This leaves many parents wondering how old their child should be to ride a motorcycle.
Here, we’ll cover Florida motorcycle laws that affect kids, and the steps adults can take to ensure that their child is safe and everyone is compliant.
What Is the Legal Age for a Child to Ride on the Back of a Motorcycle in Florida?
You may be surprised to learn there is no minimum age requirement for children riding on motorcycles in Florida. That being said, Florida does have restrictions for minors when riding a motorcycle.
Anyone under 21 must wear a helmet that meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218. Additionally, children are required to follow the same safety requirements as any other passenger, including how they’re seated on the bike.
Can Kids Ride on Motorcycles in Florida?
Children can ride on the back of a motorcycle in Florida, but they must follow the passenger laws of the state. Passengers are forbidden from riding on motorcycles not designed for two people.
When riding on two-person motorcycles, passengers must ride on the back of the seat that the driver is sitting on or a separate seat that’s securely attached to the bike. A child should not sit in front of the driver. All riders must face forward with one leg on each side of the bike.
Passenger footrests are required on all Florida motorcycles carrying a passenger, other than in an enclosed cab or sidecar. All passengers should be able to reach the footrests; otherwise, the driver will have increased difficulty balancing the bike.
A motorcycle owner may choose to add a second seat behind or beside the driver’s seat. Sidecar riders should be instructed never to distract the driver, and if they’re under 21, they must wear a helmet.
Safety Tips for Kids Riding Motorcycles
If you plan to have your child ride on a motorcycle, there are a few steps you can take to help protect them. A motorcycle safety course can help children understand some of the risks of driving a bike and make them more aware of the dangers of distracting the driver.
Motorcycle accidents can be severe, and both drivers and passengers have an increased risk of a life-changing injury, disfigurement, or even death from a collision.
Wearing a helmet mitigates the chances of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion, although a helmet doesn’t make motorcycle riding risk-free. When picking a helmet for a child, make sure it fits snugly to their head and has a chin bar and a face shield for added protection.
Kids’ motorcycle jackets don’t just look cool; they’re important protective clothing. Thick jeans or motorcycle pants protect the legs against road rash, for example, if you get into an accident. You may also wish to invest in child-sized motorcycle gloves.
The correct riding position for a child passenger also allows the driver greater control over the bike. Teach your child the proper way to sit and hold on to the driver. For younger children or those with little experience riding a bike, invest in a belt that holds them securely to your back.
Be Cautious To Avoid a Motorcycle Accident
Use caution when deciding to let a child ride on the back of your motorcycle in Miami, FL. As a driver, take a safety course before getting on a bike and make sure that all riders wear helmets. While not required, wearing other protective gear such as eye protection devices, motorcycle jackets, gloves, and pants is recommended to mitigate the severity of injuries sustained in the event of an accident.