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ATV Regulations and Safety Tips in Florida

There are many people, who buy all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) without even considering the legal requirements that need to be met with its ownership. As an ATV owner, you should know several things to avoid getting into trouble or hefty fines while ensuring your own safety as well as the safety of others.

As a matter of fact, every US state has a different set of ATV regulations. These laws may require you to title or register your vehicle, own liability insurance, limit the number of riders on a single ATV, restrict where you can ride it, specify light and accessory requirements, restrict where you can ride your ATV, and so on.

Since ATV laws are inconsistent across different states, we will address here the ATV regulations specific to Florida. But before that, let’s first see how the Sunshine State defines ATVs

Florida’s Definition of ATV

The state defines an ATV as any off-road, motorized vehicle with a width of 50 inches or less, and which is below 1,200 pounds in dry weight. The vehicle should bear three or more tires and is designed to be operated by a single person with no passenger. The definition also refers to two-rider vehicles that are specially designed to carry a passenger.

Florida’s Requirement to Title & Register an ATV

An ATV owned by a Florida resident must be titled. Similarly, an assignment of title needs to be delivered with the sale of a vehicle. You can file an application with your county’s tax collector to get a title. To get the title, you must give proof of ownership, by submitting an executed bill of sale with your application, a statement of origin from the manufacturer, and other supporting documents that the department accepts. You will get a validation sticker along with your title that you have to place on your ATV as proof of title issuance.

Where Can You Operate Your ATV?

Where Can You Operate Your ATV

In the Sunshine State, you can operate an ATV on an unpaved public road, with a posted speed limit of fewer than 35 miles per hour in the daytime. However, you can not operate an ATV on a highway, public road, or street.

ATV and UTV Regulations in Florida for Youths

  • Any individual below the age of 16 years, who is riding or operating an ATV, must wear eye protection and a helmet that meets the safety standards of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Any individual below the age of 16 years must wear over-the-ankle boots when operating an ATV.
  • Any individual below the age of 16 years must operate an ATV under the supervision of an adult.
  • Any individual below the age of 16 years, operating an ATV, must possess a certificate as proof of completing an approved OHV safety course; unless they are not a resident of Florida for a period less than 30 days.

Other ATV Regulations in Florida

  • It is illegal to damage public lands when operating an ATV. This may include damaging flora, trees, sand dunes or any other eco-sensitive lands, trails, roads, drainage systems, wildlife resources, natural water sources or courses, gates or fences, or agricultural lands or crops.
  • It is illegal to carry a passenger on an ATV unless designed by the manufacturer to carry the same.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV (or any other vehicle) under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV recklessly that could pose a risk of injury or damage to other persons or someone else’s properties.

ATVs are Essentially Not a Toy

Whether ATVs are used just for fun or for some sports, they are popular in the whole United States, particularly during the balmy months in Florida. Unfortunately, people often forget that how risky riding an ATV could be. It is important to remember that an ATV is strictly a vehicle and should not be treated as a simple toy.

While anyone can enjoy riding an ATV, one should always keep in mind that if safety precautions are not followed when riding this vehicle, serious injuries may happen. Remember that the State of Florida doesn’t require you to register and insure your ATV.

ATV Riding Safety Tips

ATV Riding Safety Tips

The following safety tips must be taken whenever a person rides an ATV:

  • Never Ride the Vehicle Alone: This doesn’t mean that you should be with a passenger on your vehicle, but it is good to have at least one individual riding along with you. This is because, if you run out of gas, get stuck in a ditch, or hit something, there should be someone to help you out.
  • Always Ride the Right Vehicle: Similar to other vehicles, ATVs are available in many different sizes and types. So, before picking an ATV, think of the purpose of buying the vehicle. Is it for trail riding, racing or towing? Also, consider your level of skill and strength. In general, larger ATVs require more strength to manage and control, whereas smaller ATVs are less powerful, so they require less physical effort. Remember that any kid below the age of 16 years should not operate an ATV with an engine bigger than 90cc.
  • Stay Away from Public Roads: Riding an ATV onto paved or public roads can be as risky as riding it through the areas unknown to you. The reason is, public roads are almost always full of vehicles and their drivers may run into your ATV.
  • Never Go beyond What You Are Capable of: Never try to perform stunts that require the experience or special skills that you presently possess. Also, completely avoid riding in areas that are tough for you to navigate through. Although ATVs are designed for off-roading, it is best to ride on already established trails.

What to do if you are involved in an ATV Accident in Florida

If you or your loved one has been injured in an ATV accident in Florida, you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney in Florida, specializing in handling ATV accident cases in the state, MANGAL, PLLC – Clermont Personal Injury Law Firm is one of them. This is important to understand your legal options and obtain the maximum compensation possible to cover your losses.

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