Florida Laws for 49cc Scooters

by Gerald Fuller

Operating a moped on a roadway in Florida is both fun and dangerous. A moped is considered a vehicle under Florida law; those operating mopeds are subject to all motor vehicle laws set by the Florida Department of Transportation. Mopeds get good gas mileage and move more slowly than street traffic, therefore it is important to know the statutes concerning them. These regulations are for the safety of the moped operator and others on the road. Statutes concerning mopeds vary from state to state.

License and Registration

In the state of Florida you must be at least 16 years of age and must have a class E driver license to operate a moped on a public road. No motorcycle endorsement is required to drive a moped. You must purchase a tag for a moped and register it annually. A moped may not be operated on bicycle or foot paths. Moped operators are not required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance.

Ride on the Right Side

Most mopeds will reach a maximum speed of 45 miles per hour. If the speed limit is less than 45 miles per hour, a moped may travel safely with traffic. Anyone operating a moped at less than the normal speed of traffic must ride as closely as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the road. A moped operator may leave the right-hand side to pass slower moving vehicles, make left-hand turns and to avoid any obstructions in the road. When riding on a one-way road that has more than one lane, a moped operator may ride near to the left-hand side of the road.

Sidewalks and Crosswalks

Anyone propelling a moped by human power upon and along a sidewalk or across a roadway via crosswalk has all the rights and duties of a pedestrian under the same circumstances. A moped operator must yield right-of-way to any pedestrians and must give an audible signal when overtaking and passing them. It is illegal to propel a moped on a sidewalk while the motor is on. Violations of these laws are noncriminal traffic violations and punishable as moving violations.

Safety Tips

Wear a helmet. Although Florida law stipulates that only those under the age of 16 are required to wear a safety helmet, it is recommended that anyone operating a moped wear a helmet for safety. Use hand signals. Mopeds have turn signals, but are difficult to see on the road altogether. Waving an arm to signal a turn will give others traveling on the road an extra visual signal, further alerting them to your presence.

About the Author

Gerald Fuller began writing professionally in 2010, specializing in cycling, swimming and history topics. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2006, earning a Bachelor of Science in psychology.

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