Florida Helmet Laws dictates that in order to ride without a helmet, one must meet two criteria: an age of at least 21 years and an insurance policy the meets or exceeds 10,000 in medical benefits. To set this type of insurance up you can contact either your medical or motorcycle insurance provider. Some medical insurance policies exclude extending coverage to accidents involving motorcycles; you’d be wise to double-check with your company to be absolutely certain of the details of your policy.
Law enforcement has been advised by the Florida Department Of Highway Safety And Motor Vehicles to accept health insurance cards provided by HMOs–or any recognized health insurance provider–as valid proof. The insurance must not be expired. To stay in compliance with Florida Helmet Laws, all passengers must have equivalent insurance of their own. If you are on the motorcycle without a helmet you must have valid proof of the aforementioned.
Department Of Highway Safety And Motor Vehicles has deemed helmet laws secondary. Meaning an officer should not perform a traffic stop based on helmet laws alone. Although, if an officer suspects the driver or passenger to be under 21 he may perform a traffic stop. If stopped, a motorcycle operator will be asked for his motorcycle endorsement and proof that the motorcycle is properly registered and insured. By informing yourself of Florida Helmet laws (statute 316.211) you will be prepared in the event that an officer stops you. If an officer chooses to write you a ticket despite proper riding procedure, chances are you are better informed of the laws than the officer pulling you over. With this knowledge you can choose to fight the ticket in traffic court and you will win if you HAVE followed the Florida Helmet Laws set forth.
It is important to note that proper eye protection gear is a requirement without a helmet, regardless of age. And if you do decide to ride your motorcycle with a helmet it must remain properly fastened any time the vehicle is in motion. The helmet must also meet the standards of Safety Standard 218 set forth by the Federal Motorcycle Vehicle Safety and the United States Department of Transportation.
While the power of knowledge cannot guarantee a completely safe ride on every motorcycle ride, it will insure the operator is well informed and educated of Florida Helmet Laws in the case of a traffic stop.
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Motorcycles have taken the world by storm over the past couple of decades, especially within the previous decade, because they are the most inexpensive form of transportation available to commuters around the world today. One of the first motorcycle manufacturing companies to produce bikes on a large scale was the Harley Davidson Company, based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company survived World War I, World War II, and the Great Depression in large part because of the United States armed forces. Harley Davidson became a motorcycle manufacturing company in 1903, not long before World War I broke out in Europe.
Prior to World War I, the United States armed forces requested that Harley Davidson produce motorcycles for them to use in their pursuit of Pancho Villa, led by General John J. Pershing. This was only the beginning of the relationship between a motorcycle manufacturing company and the United States armed forces. The relationship continued into World War I when the United States armed forces asked Harley Davidson to produce more bikes for them during the war effort. By the year 1917, one third of all motorcycles being produced by the company were going to the United States armed forces.
Almost every country involved in the World War I war effort used some sort of motorcycle to help with their war effort. Motorcycles were used as ambulances, messenger vehicles, reconnaissance vehicles and transport vehicles for officers in the army. Most motorcycles used in World War I were equipped with sidecars that had machine guns attached to them so that a second person could ride in the bike and protect it from enemy fire. Riders of the bikes wore cycle helmets to protect them from accidents and enemy fire.
The cycle helmets used in World War I for motorcyclists were made of leather. The helmets had two ear flaps to protect the ears of the riders from road debris and enemy fire. The United States army reportedly used 20,000 motorcycles during World War I and the first American soldier to enter Germany after the ceasefire was in effect was a dispatch rider named Roy Holtz.
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The thrill and sheer enjoyment of riding a motorcycle is addictive to many enthusiasts, and it’s becoming more and more popular. With the large number of vehicles present on today’s roadways and the incredible speed at which motorcycles can operate, a motorcycle helmet is absolutely a necessity. Many riders put on motorcycle helmets every single day, and yet few people actually know its true origin.
The United States Air Force contracted with a professor named Dr. Lombard to create a helmet suitable for use by its cadets. The result was an invention that was later patented and used in many different applications, including motorcycle helmets. Dr. Lombard’s work also lead to a new race car helmet that quickly became high in demand, and work on the motorcycle helmet was placed on the back burner. The original helmets had very little padding, and it was questionable how safe they truly were.
While many companies began to produce the helmet, there really were no specific standards as to their design or manufacturing. Snell, a name very popular in the industry, developed some testing requirements in 1957 and became the only national independent motorcycle helmet testing agency. After developing several independent tests, a number of different motorcycle helmets were evaluated and miserably failed. Much more information was available as to the effectiveness of various materials, and many helmets in production were pulled from the market. Several years later, in 1961, the first helmet laws were passed. It took another 13 years for the U.S. Department of Transportation to finally set the required standards, and even now there are DOT approved stickers present on each motorcycle helmet.
Motorcycle helmets now come in a wide variety of different styles, but all of them must adhere to the same safety requirements. Many individuals prefer the full-shielded helmets in which the entire face is protected, whereas some riders seek a helmet as small as possible. No matter what motorcycle helmet a rider chooses, they can rest assured that it is made of high quality materials that have been tested and proven to withstand significant force.
Riding a motorcycle is a favorite pastime for many, and necessary transportation for others. The invention and subsequent incorporation of the motorcycle helmet into the industry has revolutionized the practice of operating a motorcycle. As a result, it is not only much safer to use a motorcycle helmet, but in many places it is the law as well.
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In order to ride a bike legally, a permit is needed and in some states a driver’s license as well. Other states might require you to pass a two-part knowledge exam if you don’t have a driver’s license. The permit allows you to ride, but you must have another rider accompany you on another motorcycle who has an ‘M’ endorsement on their license, you cannot take passengers, and you cannot ride at night or on the freeway. The length of time the permit is good for varies from state to state.
You have the option, when you are ready to apply for the “M’ endorsement, to take either a rider training program or a DMV motorcycle road test. It is in your best interest to consider the training program. They will take you through the proper procedures for pre-trip examinations, proper starting, shifting, changing lanes, riding around obstacles and curves, proper braking, and many other safety considerations. Training takes place both on the riding pad and in the classroom. Both parts of the training will enhance each other and allow greater retention. There is a riding test and a written test. When you’re through, you simply take your certificate to the DMV for your endorsement. You won’t need to take the DMV riding test. Many of these courses are offered on community college campuses.
Buying your first bike
If you are thinking of buying a bike for the first time, there are many things to consider. Among them, is weight. You don’t want a bike that’s too heavy to maneuver when turning or parking. There are good lightweight bikes that get great gas mileage and still provide plenty of speed to commute or recreate with. Those that love speed may opt for the café racer, but one should be careful to work up their skills before deciding to fly down a mountainside on one of these. Other considerations are insurance costs, parts availability if it’s a used bike, and good local shops for repair if you don’t want to fix it yourself.
Basic maintenance/safety considerations
Make sure to read the owner’s manual, but at a minimum, fluid and filter changes should be done regularly. Have the brakes checked regularly and always keep the recommended tire pressure. The clutch, brakes, tires, proper fuel flow, lights, horn, and mirrors are all important safety considerations. Another is always making yourself visible.
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