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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    2

    Default Are Off-Highway Vehicles Violations Traffic Violations

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: florida
    I sometimes ride my dirtbike down my roads in my neighboorhood to get to an open field where i ride sometimes. I have my learners permit, and in florida if you get a traffic ticket you have to restart your learners permit year on the day you are convicted for the ticket. Since a dirtbike is an off highway vehicle like go karts, atvs, etc i was wondering if i go pulled over while riding on the sidewalk, public road, or even the field, would it be a traffic ticket i could get or would it be unrelated to licensed vehicle tickets and would it affect my permit or not? Im over halfway to my license and i wouldnt want to start my year all over.
    Thanks,
    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    LA LA Land
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    9,170

    Default Re: Off Highway Vehicles Violations- Are They Traffic Violations

    Quote Quoting Nick481
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    Since a dirtbike is an off highway vehicle like go karts, atvs, etc i was wondering if i go pulled over while riding on the sidewalk, public road, or even the field, would it be a traffic ticket i could get or would it be unrelated to licensed vehicle tickets and would it affect my permit or not?
    That's not the way it works...

    First, from section

    316.003 FS: Definitions.

    (21) MOTOR VEHICLE.—Except when used in s. 316.1001, a self-propelled vehicle not operated upon rails or guideway, but not including any bicycle, motorized scooter, electric personal assistive mobility device, swamp buggy, or moped. For purposes of s. 316.1001, “motor vehicle” has the same meaning as in s. 320.01(1)(a).

    (22) MOTORCYCLE.—Any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor or a moped.

    The fact that an off-highway vehicle is still considered a "motor vehicle", and since it is not excluded from the definition of a motor vehicle, the vehicle itself, and the person operating it would still be subject to the laws that would apply to other motor vehicles unless such a law is inapplicable by its very nature or unless it is specifically excluded. You can assume that the same would apply to an "All-Terrain Vehicle".

    But that is not all there is... The description used for such vehicles, and since it classifies such a vehicle as being an "off-highway" vehicle, one can assume that using the same would be limited to off-highway locations.

    261.11 OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE SAFETY AND RECREATION

    Penalties.—No off-highway vehicle may be operated upon the public roads, streets, or highways of this state, except as otherwise permitted by the managing local, state, or federal agency. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as provided in chapter 318.

    Note that it describes it as a "noncriminal traffic infraction" which might include moving and non-moving violations otherwise the statute would have specified if it were either (as you will see next in 316.2074).

    I realize you said dirt bike but you should also read this:

    316.2074 All-terrain vehicles.—

    (1) It is the intent of the Legislature through the adoption of this section to provide safety protection for minors while operating an all-terrain vehicle in this state.

    (2) As used in this section, the term “all-terrain vehicle” means any motorized off-highway vehicle 50 inches or less in width, having a dry weight of 1,200 pounds or less, designed to travel on three or more nonhighway tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control, and intended for use by a single operator with no passenger. For the purposes of this section, “all-terrain vehicle” also includes any “two-rider ATV” as defined in s. 317.0003.

    (3) No person under 16 years of age shall operate, ride, or be otherwise propelled on an all-terrain vehicle unless the person wears a safety helmet meeting United States Department of Transportation standards and eye protection.

    (4) If a crash results in the death of any person or in the injury of any person which results in treatment of the person by a physician, the operator of each all-terrain vehicle involved in the crash shall give notice of the crash pursuant to s. 316.066.

    (5) Except as provided in this section, an all-terrain vehicle may not be operated upon the public roads, streets, or highways of this state, except as otherwise permitted by the managing state or federal agency.

    (6) An all-terrain vehicle having four wheels may be used by police officers on public beaches designated as public roadways for the purpose of enforcing the traffic laws of the state. All-terrain vehicles may also be used by the police to travel on public roadways within 5 miles of beach access only when getting to and from the beach.

    (7) An all-terrain vehicle having four wheels may be used by law enforcement officers on public roads within public lands while in the course and scope of their duties.

    (8) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.

    Again, note here how it classifies these violations as nonmoving violations. The point here is it appears that both, moving and non moving violations, and by virtue of the fact that they would qualify as having been committed on/in an off-highway vehicle, they would avail the court to such wide discretion to assess or enforce any penalty described as a traffic infraction.

    In answer to your question, a traffic citation that is issued to you while you are riding an off-highway vehicle or an All-Terrain vehicle is, indeed just like any other citation that would be issued to you had you been riding a street bike, a 2 door coupe or 4 door sedan or a truck... etc. Moreover, you riding an off-highway vehicle on regular -public- roadways is prohibited and can earn you a citation in and of itself. So how do you get your dirt bike from the garage out to the trails? Simple... You walk it! (Meaning -engine off, hands on handle bars while you guide your bike to your intended destination) or you can obviously load it up on the back of a truck and have someone get it out there for you.

    There are several reasons as to why it would be a violation to ride/drive any vehicle upon the sidewalks except to cross one when entering or exiting a private driveway. In some jurisdictions, even riding a bicycle would be against the law.

    316.003 FS: Definitions.

    (42) ROADWAY.—That portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” as used herein refers to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively.

    (53) STREET OR HIGHWAY.—

    (a) The entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular traffic;

    (b) The entire width between the boundary lines of any privately owned way or place used for vehicular travel by the owner and those having express or implied permission from the owner, but not by other persons, or any limited access road owned or controlled by a special district, whenever, by written agreement entered into under s. 316.006(2)(b) or (3)(b), a county or municipality exercises traffic control jurisdiction over said way or place;

    (c) Any area, such as a runway, taxiway, ramp, clear zone, or parking lot, within the boundary of any airport owned by the state, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision, which area is used for vehicular traffic but which is not open for vehicular operation by the general public; or

    (d) Any way or place used for vehicular traffic on a controlled access basis within a mobile home park recreation district which has been created under s. 418.30 and the recreational facilities of which district are open to the general public.

    I am not certain which law you are speaking of which require you to start a year over, but it may depend on the language of that code section as how it qualifies what you are describing as a "traffic ticket"... the closest I can come up with is this:

    318.143 Sanctions for infractions by minors.—

    (1) If the court finds that a minor has committed a violation of any of the provisions of chapter 316, the court may also impose one or more of the following sanctions:

    (a) The court may reprimand or counsel the minor and his or her parents or guardian.

    (b) The court may require the minor to attend, for a reasonable period, a traffic school conducted by a public authority.

    (c) The court may order the minor to remit to the general fund of the local governmental body a sum not exceeding the maximum fine applicable to an adult for a like offense.

    (d) The court may order the minor to participate in public service or a community work project for a minimum number of hours. A minor who participates in such a work program is considered an employee of the state for the purposes of chapter 440.

    (e) The court may impose a curfew or other restriction on the liberty of the minor for a period not to exceed 6 months.

    (f) The court may require the minor and his or her parents or guardians to participate in a registered youthful driver monitoring service as described in s. 318.1435.

    (2) Failure to comply with one or more of the sanctions imposed by the court constitutes contempt of court. Upon a finding by the court, after notice and a hearing, that a minor is in contempt of court for failure to comply with court-ordered sanctions, the court may:

    (a) For a first offense, order the minor to serve up to 5 days in a staff-secure shelter as defined in chapter 984 or chapter 985 or, if space in a staff-secure shelter is unavailable, in a secure juvenile detention center.

    (b) For a second or subsequent offense, the court may order a minor to serve up to 15 days in a staff-secure shelter or, if space in a staff-secure shelter is unavailable, in a secure juvenile detention center.

    (3) Except for a conviction of a violation of s. 316.027, a minor may not be imprisoned in an adult detention facility. If a minor is imprisoned for a violation of s. 316.027, the minor may not be placed in the same cell as an adult. The receiving facility must have adequate staff to supervise and monitor the minor’s activities at all times. This subsection does not prohibit placing two or more minors in the same cell.

    (4) For the first conviction for a violation of s. 316.193, the court may order the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to revoke the minor’s driver’s license until the minor is 18 years of age. For a second or subsequent conviction for such a violation, the court may order the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to revoke the minor’s driver’s license until the minor is 21 years of age.

    (5) A minor who is arrested for a violation of s. 316.193 may be released from custody as soon as:

    (a) The minor is no longer under the influence of alcoholic beverages, of any chemical substance set forth in s. 877.111, or of any substance controlled under chapter 893, and is not affected to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired;

    (b) The minor’s blood-alcohol level is less than 0.05 percent; or

    (c) Six hours have elapsed after the minor’s arrest.

    Generally, it appears that Florida classifies traffic offenses as "noncriminal traffic infraction". That classification, then splits into two different classes where some are moving violations and others are non-moving violations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    2

    Default Re: Off Highway Vehicles Violations- Are They Traffic Violations

    Wow, thanks for the extensive reply. It really made all of the laws clear to me. As for the losing your permit thing, i found this on the florida dmv website:
    All drivers' ages 15 to 17 years old must keep their Learners Permit free of points for 12 consecutive months before applying for a full driver's license. If a Learners Permit driver receives a ticket and wants to avoid the points, a DMV approved Florida Traffic School must be completed. The course is commonly called the four-hour Basic Driver Improvement course.
    If the the Learner Permit driver does not complete a Florida Traffic School course and accumulates points then a full driver's license cannot be obtained until the age of 18 years or 12 consecutive months are completed with no additional points. And, once a Learners Permit has six (6) points restrictions start applying such as driving for business purposes only. One speeding ticket going 15 mph or faster can result in four (4) points on a Learners Permit.
    So i guess i wouldnt be totally screwed because you can do the 4 hour traffic school to clear the points. Also, what maybe i missed a part in the material you gave me, but what would be involved with riding an "off highway vehicle" or "motor vehicle" on the public sidewalk? I wouldnt do it, but if i wanted to ride a little gas powered go kart down the sidewalk, i wouldnt want to get points.

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