What Age Can a Child Ride on the Back of a Motorcycle in Jacksonville, FL?
Florida has a child seat law. Under this law, children under six years old must ride in a child seat. But this law specifically excludes motorcycles.
Florida also has laws that set requirements for any motorcycle carrying passengers. But as long as the motorcycle was designed to carry passengers, children in Florida can ride on a motorcycle at any age without breaking any traffic laws.
Below, learn about the laws that cover child motorcycle passengers and the risks you take by riding with a child on the back of your motorcycle in Jacksonville, FL.
Child Safety Laws in Florida’s Motor Vehicle Code
Florida’s motor vehicle code includes two laws that specifically mention children and motorcycles. The first describes the state’s child safety seat requirements. This law mentions motorcycles but only excludes them from the requirement of carrying child safety seats.
The second law covers motorcycle helmets. Under Florida law, every motorcycle rider 21 years old or younger must wear a motorcycle helmet. This mandate includes children riding on the back of a motorcycle.
While this law tells children to wear a helmet, it does not tell children when they can or cannot ride on a motorcycle. Theoretically, an infant could ride on the back of a motorcycle as long as it wears a helmet.
The only Florida traffic law that might limit which children can ride on a motorcycle states that operators and passengers must sit astride the seat.
In other words, the child must be big enough to straddle the motorcycle seat. Small children might not have legs long enough to do this. This law sets a size requirement rather than an age requirement.
In conclusion, Florida’s traffic code does not tell you the minimum age at which a child can legally ride on the back of a motorcycle. It does tell you that the child must be big enough to straddle the seat. But the age when a child can do this will vary based on the child’s build and the size of the motorcycle.
Motorcycle Passenger Laws
Florida does not tell you who can or cannot ride on the back of your motorcycle. It does tell you the features your motorcycle must have to carry a passenger.
Under Florida law, you can only carry a passenger on the back of your motorcycle if it has a seat large enough for the passenger and footpegs for the passenger’s feet. If your motorcycle does not have a passenger seat and footpegs, you can only carry passengers in a sidecar.
Child Abuse and Neglect Laws in Florida
This does not mean you should put your toddler on the back of your motorcycle and head down the interstate. Although the vehicle code does not restrict who can ride on the back of your motorcycle, Florida’s child abuse and neglect laws might.
Under Florida law, child neglect includes a failure to provide the supervision a prudent person would deem necessary for the child’s well-being. Putting a small child on the back of a motorcycle arguably places the child’s life in danger and may constitute child neglect.
Civil Liability for Injuries to the Child
In addition to criminal liability, you also need to consider civil liability. If you get into a motorcycle accident and the child riding on your motorcycle gets injured, you could bear liability for the damages the child suffers.
These damages could include medical expenses, pain, mental suffering, and losses due to permanent disabilities. Since an accident could deprive the child of a long and normal life, you could face substantial damages for the child’s injuries.
Contact the Jacksonville Motorcycle Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra motorcycle accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256, United States
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170
Jacksonville, FL 32202