Motor scooters are popular in Florida as an affordable and fun way to get from place to place. The fuel economy of a scooter is excellent and the Florida weather is usually ideal. There has been a recent increase in motor scooter sales and rentals in the Tampa Bay area, especially near the beaches.
A motor scooter is a two-wheeled motorized vehicle with a step-through frame. Most are less than 50cc in engine displacement and travel less than 30 MPH. These do not require a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license, though since it is still a motorized vehicle, the driver must be at least 16 years old with a driver’s license. If a motor scooter is over 50cc, it is considered a motorcycle and must follow all motorcycle laws, including having insurance. If the scooter is 50cc or under, wearing a helmet is only required for passengers under the age of 16. Wearing a helmet is the single best way to protect yourself while riding a scooter, and it always a good choice.
Motor scooters are street legal and can be operated on the road as long as they are registered with the DMV. Insuring your scooter is a smart option, but not required by law.
With the increase in popularity comes the rise in scooter-related accidents. Remember, scooters have no seat belt, airbags, or steel frame to protect you. When on a scooter, you must always be cautious and aware of your surroundings.
How do you stay safe while riding a scooter in Florida?
Wear a Helmet! It is always a good choice, even if you are not legally required to do so.
Use Eye Protection: If your helmet does not have a face shield, ensure you have glasses or safety goggles to keep your eyes safe from dirt, wind, bugs, or other debris.
Wear Bright Colors or Reflective Clothing: Scooters are harder for other motorists to see, especially at night. Being visible on the road can help keep you safe.
Stay Up To Date on Maintenance: Regularly check your tire pressure, oil, and fuel. While you’re at it, double check that your turn signals, lights, and horn all function properly.
Keep Your Eyes on the Road and watch for hazards, such as potholes or bumps.
Stay Alert: There’s no way to know how and when other vehicles will maneuver, change lanes, or brake. Always know where you will go and how you will react if a car turns in front of you or rides too close behind you. Your safety depends on your awareness and ability to react.