This may not be a commonly asked question, but it is an interesting one. Recently, a person inquired to our Office about whether it is legal in Florida to remove the front turn signals on his motorcycle, leaving just the rear turn signals.
Here is the answer: No, Florida law does require motorcycles to have both front and rear turn signals.
Here are the facts: Florida traffic laws define the term “vehicle” to include motorcycles as well as cars. Florida statute 316.222(2) states that “every motor vehicle … shall be equipped with electric turn signal lamps meeting the requirements of s. 316.234(2).” Florida statute 316.234(2) states that vehicles falling under 316.222 “shall be equipped with electric turn signals which shall indicate an intention to turn by flashing lights showing to the front and rear of a vehicle.” Failure to follow this requirement is a noncriminal traffic infraction.
Here is more information: As a motorcycle accident attorney in Gainesville and Ocala, I can tell you that if you are involved in an accident with your motorcycle and are in violation of the turn signal law, you may be held liable for the accident even if it was not your fault. Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning that more than one party can be held at fault for an accident. A person involved in an accident who receives a noncriminal traffic infraction will almost certainly be held at least partly liable for the accident. Therefore, if you violate 316.234(2) and are involved in an accident, you will most likely be found to be at least comparatively negligent.
Also: It is also important to keep in mind that the laws for maintaining and operating a motorcycle in Florida are based on safety issues and concerns. Vehicles driving ahead of a motorcycle need to know what is happening around them, and the motorcycle’s front turn signal light informs drivers in front that a turn or lane change is about to be made. This point is especially true at night, when other visual indicators like hand signals cannot be seen.
In short, front (and rear) turn signals are required by law on all motorcycles operating on public roads in Florida. They are also a good idea when it comes to the issues of safety and liability.
I am local accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon and I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of and/or recovery from a serious accident. My office and I take pride in our work, and the results we get for our clients.
Meldon Law is a regional law firm that is located in Gainesville, Florida. We are personal injury lawyers, litigators and trial lawyers that have been working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years throughout North Florida and all over Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, motorcycle, ATVs, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
For more information on how we can help you, or with any other question you may have, feel free to contact our office at 800-373-8000.