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Discussion Starter #1
Florida has passed some new legislation regarding motorcycles, those of you planning on visiting Florida need to be aware.

A new fine structure for the following violations is in effect

Speed 50 mph over posted speed

Either wheel leaving ground (wheelie or stoppie)

Tag improperly displayed (un-lighted, mounted under seat, mounted vertically, difuser cover)

First offense $1,000.00

Second offense $ 2,500.00 loss of license, possible jail time.

Third offense $ 5,000.00, loss of licensc, possible jail time.


Beware, Law Enforcement is heavy during Bike Week, and now they have more to work with.
 

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$1,000 fine for improper tag display? Really?

Gonna be a lot of angry tourists after bike week...probably a bunch of court cases, too, from riders who are legal and have passed state inspection in their home state.

Thanks for the heads-up, good info to know.

Edit: holy crap, the license revocation is a year for the second offense and TEN YEARS for a third, *including the improper tag law!*, and all of them (including the tag law) are treated as moving violations. I don't understand how that type of equipment violation can be legally classified as a moving violation.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Crazy law

I agree that there will be a lot of problems in the sspring when bike week arrives. The tag law is due to the fact that the Highway Patrol has optical tag readers in the cars, and they are unable to read a tag that is not displayed clearly, and they cannot read vertically. I know a lot of sport bikes have the tag mounted under the tail section, and it seems the majority of custom/choppers have the tag on the swingarm, mounted vertically.

The law says that if you ride in Florida, you follow Florida's laws. The wheelie/stoppie law does allow for an "inadvertant" wheelie, but that would be the officers call. I can hear it now, "But your honor, the front wheel came up to shoulder level by accident".

It was reported in the paper that in the first four hours of the new law (Oct 1, midnight) that there were 85 violations of the fifty mph over in the Orlando area.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Posted elsewhere

I have posted the law sections in the Ride Trip Reports forum, maybe more appropriate, better visability. Titled "Visiting Florida, bring $$$$"
 

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I think a lot more people are going to run from the police, especially for a second or third offense. Gonna be some bad PR when people die...
 

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I think a lot more people are going to run from the police, especially for a second or third offense. Gonna be some bad PR when people die...
Exactly! Those penalties seem like a HUGE incentive for someone to just RUN!!!! :eek:
 

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Surely that cant be the case, regarding the registration compliance?

If, for example, the sideways licence plate is legal in the state of registration, you cant be fined if you ride it the bike Florida?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Florida Law

ADVISORY BULLETIN
Florida Association of Court Clerks/Comptrollers

REF: HB 137 (ch. 2008-117, Laws of Florida) DATE: August 20, 2008 NO: 08-058

FILE NO. F02-008-080820-01 TELEPHONE: (850) 921-0808 CONTACT: B. Allman


Effective October 1, 2008, HB 137 revises the traffic laws to create a few more penalties. This short bill was particularly focused on unsafe motorcycle activities, but it does include a provision for excessive speed. The new law also provides penalties for the first, second, third or subsequent violations. The Distribution Chart found on the FACC website will be updated to reflect the amounts for the first and second offenses in the Traffic section. The third and subsequent offense is classified as a third degree felony with a $5,000 fine and will appear in the Criminal Traffic section of the chart.

New Violations:
316.2085(2) Motorcycle or moped, wheels losing contact with ground
This is classified as a moving violation.
First Offense: the violator must pay $1,000 plus any other costs assessed for a moving violation. Second Offense: the violator must pay a fine of $2,500, plus any other applicable costs assessed for a moving violation. The person’s driver license must be revoked for a period of one year.
Third Offense: the violator will be charged with a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084, a mandatory fine of $5,000, and the driver license must be revoked for a period of ten years.

316.2085(3) Motorcycle or moped license tag improperly affixed
This is classified as a moving violation.
First Offense: the violator must pay $1,000 plus any other costs assessed for a moving violation. Second Offense: the violator must pay a fine of $2,500, plus any other applicable costs assessed for a moving violation. The person’s driver license must be revoked for a period of one year.
Third Offense: the violator will be charged with a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084, a mandatory fine of $5,000, and the driver license must be revoked for a period of ten years.

316.1926 (2) A person who exceeds the speed limit in excess of 50 mph or more in violation of ss.
316.183(2) (posted speeds), 316.187(state speed zones), or 316.189 (municipal and county speeds)
This is classified as a moving violation.
First Offense: the violator must pay a fine of $1,000 plus court costs.
Second Offense: the violator must pay a fine of $2,500 plus court costs and the driver license must be revoked for a period of one year.
Third Offense: the violator will be charged with a third degree felony, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082, 775.083, and 775.084, a mandatory fine of $5,000, and the driver license must be revoked for a period of ten years.
 

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I don't get it. The rabid anti-biker sentiment around this event has been going on for years now. Hell, I remember reading stories about 'Daytona Cop Week' back in the 70's. Decades now of harassment.

Why do bikers keep going to a state that plainly doesn't want them there? There are other warm places to ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Send them away

Florida has for years also tried to move spring break by creating new laws, but we still get thousands of kids here for the partying. Now they (legislators) are aiming at the motorcycle community. I, for one, don't have a problem with the laws on excessive speed (50 over is a little extreme) or the wheelie/stoppie law, since many sportbikers don't have the sense to know where to do these things. I am sure I am not alone in being tired of the harrassment that comes to me when I ride a sportbike and am accussed of being a reckless biker. I don't like seeing a 18 year old kid, wearing shorts, flip-flops, no shirt or helmet doing a wheelie in rush hour traffic.

A few months ago a group of sportbikers was stopped doing 115+ in a 55 mph zone near here. They had been riding like that for more than an hour, evading police. The State Police had to shut down a major interstate to catch them.

Although the Hells Angels, Nomads, Outlaws, etc have given Harley riders a bad rep (some of the new Harley riders are buying into that image) so too are the 1 percent of sportbike riders who insist on displaying their ignorance on public roads, giving the other 99 percent of us this same type of bad rep.

The tag issue, however, is another story. How it can be classified as a moving violation I will never know. And if it will stand up in court is yet to be seen (I will not be the one to test it). I know that there will be ample opportunity to test it when the throngs of out of state bikers arrive for bike week.

For a state that relies so heavily on tourist dollars to survive, and in this slow economy the tourists are few and far between, it seems that by fining those few who do come here the state is shooting itself in the foot (wallet).
 

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Lets not get too worked up over this. I've ridden in Florida off and on since '65, and have yet to be harassed by LEO.

I also have friends in law enforcement, and believe me, they are not going to be wasting their time looking for out of synch tags. But tags can be scrutinized secondary to the original infraction that caught their attention.

I could be wrong, but even though a vehicle operator is subject to each state's laws, I doubt Speed Weekers will be stopped for their tags. The last few years you had to be extremely flagrant to get stopped.

50 over? Who can complain about getting a ticket for that? Lifting the front wheel? You have to be extremely unlucky to find a cop that is going to write you up for a 4 to 5 inch lift. More than likely you will be ticketed for exceeding the 30 or 35 mph limit in town.

Forewarned is forearmed.

Come to Speed Week and bring lots of money. We need it. :D
Don't forget to make your reservations for next year, now.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not so

OnD, I don't want to argue, but there is new motivation to enforce the tag law which has been on the books for quite a while. By increasing the fines, and making this a moving violation (third offense a felony) this issue makes the tag violation a primary offense, and therby allowing more scrutiny (such as M/C endorsement, insurance, etc.)

I have seem mmany bikes stopped here since the law went into effect, and the LEO's stop a group and check all drivers and passangers in the group. They consider it a routine "warrant check".

When you read the law concerning the tag it requires the tag to be centered on the rearmost portion of the bike, lighted and reflectorized.

I, for one, attract enough attention just by riding a bright yellow Sprint (or my Fire Engine Red, with gold flames, Harley) without having any additional reason for LEO to "chat" with me.


See attached link

http://www.fireblades.org/forums/eastern-usa/70182-tampa-bay-area-new-tag-bs.html
 

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Me thinks thou be panicking unnecessarily, but that be your choice.

Statements that start with, "I don't want to argue ", followed by one of those 'but' qualifiers do not compute. :D
 

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I am not in Florida but I have a long line of family in the RCMP and in the end, they are humans as well. They dont go looking to make trouble and nor are they lawenforcement robots.

I would bet that there will be an area of grey that most bikers and leo's will reside in.

The law is open to interpretation and if a cop is watching an intersection and sees you walk on the bike and get a bit of a front end lift aslong as you dont speed I doubt he will ding you under those laws. If you are bombing around at 50mph over the limit, friggin heck you deserve to get spanked by a leo.

As far as the tag thing goes well we will see. Bike weeks, Spring break etc brings millions into the Floridian economy and they probably just dont want a tage to be completely obscured.

Moral of the story, do what you are supposed to and obey the law. Don't speed, dont do block long wheelies or stoppies and when you go to Florida turn your tag the right way and when you leave turn it the way you want.

Most cops are only looking for those who are blatenly breaking the law.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gray areas abound

Had lunch today with a few biker friends, including two Florida Highway Patrolmen, and a Sheriff's Deputy (Okaloosa County, far west side of state). The concensus was that the law allowed for the "inadvertant" wheelie/stoppie. Calliway is spot on in his interpretation of that part of the law. Before this legislation there was only the "reckless driving" law to hold bikers accountable for wheelies. It is the block long, 50 mph, in traffic (reckless) wheelies thay are concerned with. We have had several accidents where a car has hit, or been hit, by a out of control wheelieing bike. It is a safety issue.

50 over, no brainer, also on track with Calliway's comment.

The tag issue was brought up by the State Troopers. It seems that their optical readers are unable to read bike tags unless they are in plain view (under a tailsection, on hugger, etc. causes the light meeter to read the back of the bike in sunlight, and there is not enough light to read the tag in the shaddow. Also a concern were the "flip away" tag frames available or the diffuser covers used to block the camers ability to read/record tags. The previous fine was $50 for an obscured tag, a minor cost compared with the potential to evade. With the higher fine, and making this a moving violation, the tag violation now becomes a primary enforcement item, where a bike can be stopped for this alone.

As an aside to this, only one of the six bikes parked at lunch were in compliance, one of the deputies had a Harley Road King. The other Deputy had his duty cycle (also a Road King), but it did not have reflectors on the tag. Myself, the other firefighter, both FHP officers were out of compliance, and one of the bikes had the stock factory tag holder mounted. No tickets were written, but I will have reflectors before Bike Week.

Enforcement is, as always, up to the officer on scene, but the local law enforcement community sets the priorities. I have seem some "overzealous" LEO's in the Daytona area (Orange Beach comes to mind).
 

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Still much ado about nothing. The sky is not falling.

I would find it hard to believe that bikers are riding in their home states with their tags completely hidden from view by LEO, or allowed to do wheelies and not be stopped.:rolleyes:

But, if you are stopped for a tag problem, if all else is fine, you will probably only get a warning. LEO is not running amok here.

Come to Florida. Bring lots of money and leave it here. And don't stand too close to the pits. :D

If you come, forget about getting stopped for your tag. Focus your concerns on what is important and relevant, such as not getting run into or over, and did you actually give that pole dancer your real name? :mad:
 

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I

Why do bikers keep going to a state that plainly doesn't want them there? There are other warm places to ride!
...sniff....because I love Florida! I just try to obey the laws.

ehh, its not that they dont want them (ummm..us I mean), its partly because you have some numb-nutz that wanna go to Fla for BikeWeek or whatever, blend in and think they can just wreek havok then split for home. Ive been to Fla many-many-many times(see! I love the state). Its easy to spot the posers/troublemakers/hooligans who think they can get away with stuupid stuff because there are sooo many people there on bikes too. No, Im not a policeman, Im sure its tough for the cops there with so many more bikers in the state.
 

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Let's see how this is enforced in the real world.

My worry is that they will enforce the tag law like NYC is enforcing the lane-splitting law after beefing up the penalties a while back.

I personally witnessed the NYPD putting officers on foot in the middle of the West Side Highway up near the GW Bridge on a Saturday night rush hour; this caused traffic to grind to a halt down the full length of the highway to Soho, some five miles worth of solid parking lot.

The cops had observers a mile down the road before the roadblock to look for lane splitting bikes; they then radioed to the pedestrian officers around the corner who stopped all lane splitting bikes. The owners were then cited for lane splitting and whatever else the officers found (helmets, registration, endorsements, insurance, inspection were all checked) and some bikes were seized. The cops created the problem, then they busted everyone on bikes for several hours trying to deal with the problem they created. I didn't get a ticket because all my paperwork was in order, I had a full aerostich on and I had a stack of NYPD detective's association cards.

All this was/is part of an ongoing, organized anti-motorcycle campaign by the NYPD, including an informal competition to see how many bikes could be impounded and tickets written - this was confirmed to me by several NYPD officers who were customers of mine at Ducati NY.

After this profoundly negative experience, I am very wary of legislatures granting such severe penalties for previously minor infractions like tag mounting. The law of unintended consequences has a way of biting the best intentions in the ass. I think more people in FL will run and there will be more high speed crashes since these penalties are so severe - they make eluding a lot more attractive, particularly for someone facing a second or third violation that involves a multi-thousand dollar fine and between one and 10 years' loss of license.
 
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