On occasion, you may observe motorcycles traveling in pairs and often times riding in the same lane. When working with motorcycle accident victims and their families, questions are often raised as to whether traveling in pairs in the same lane can be considered a negligent act on behalf of the rider.
Florida Statute 316.209(1)-(4) entitled “operating motorcycles on roadways laned for traffic” provides that:
(1) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.
(2) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
(3) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
(4) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
Florida law establishes that it is not a violation of any traffic laws for motorcycles to travel in pairs within the same lane. As long as the driver operates the motorcycle within the bounds of the law and in a safe and prudent manner, negligence should not be an issue. The statute however, does provide that it is a violation for a motorcycle to attempt to pass another vehicle in the same lane and that it is also illegal for motorcycles to pass between lanes of traffic. This type of conduct would be considered negligent operation on behalf of the motorcycle operator.
In short, the question of negligence will come down to the rider’s acts or conduct in operating the motorcycle. Florida has enacted several laws addressing the traffic laws and regulations for motorcycles, all of which were designed to keep riders and other vehicles safe on the roadways.
Motorcycle accidents can be devastating to drivers and their passengers given the lack or protection and exposure to catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury in a motorcycle accident we invite you to contact Givens Givens Sparks for a fee case evaluation.