New Florida "Wheelie" Law

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New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Dragon on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:22 am

Tampa Bay Online
updated 4:11 p.m. ET, Tues., May. 6, 2008

By KEITH MORELLI of The Tampa Tribune

TAMPA - Displays of bravado on two wheels are as old as, well, wheels.

From Steve McQueen hopping the barbed wire fence in "The Great Escape" to Evel Knievel's long-distance leaps, stunts on bikes have drawn gasps from onlookers.
Daredevils on motorcycles often have their feats captured on video and posted online. Such stunts are scattered across the YouTube landscape. Locally, the Courtney Campbell Parkway on any given night is a favorite spot for sport bike riders to meet and show off their skills.

Among the stunts: the ever-popular wheelie.

That's when the front wheel of the motorcycle comes off the pavement with a twist of the throttle and the bike is ridden a distance on one wheel.

Starting Oct. 1, the anti-wheelie law takes effect.

If a law enforcement officer spots that activity, the rider can be cited under the new state law and face a $1,000 fine. That's for a first offense. A second offense carries a maximum fine of $2,500. A third-timer faces a felony charge and can be fined as much as $5,000 – along with a 10-year license revocation.

The statute was introduced by Florida Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, a Republican from Miami.

His bill requires motorcyclists to "maintain both wheels on the ground at all times."

He decided to introduce the bill after seeing sport bikers doing stunts, including wheelies, on Interstate 95 in Miami.

"I witnessed it several times on the expressway," he said this morning. "Two weekends in a row, they were doing really crazy stunts. They were hanging off [the sides of their bikes], scraping their feet on the median, riding sidesaddle and doing wheelies.

"There also was a van chasing them," Lopez-Cantera said, "filming it all."

That prompted him to take action, he said.

"When I saw that, I said, 'I've got to do something -- at least bring attention to it.' "

He said other dangerous stunts are addressed in other statutes, but wheelies were not.

His law will catch the attention of daredevils who put themselves in danger as well as others, he said. Initially, he said, he wanted to include a provision to allow forfeiture of the motorcycle, but that fell by the wayside.

Though charges such as reckless driving could be used to charge someone doing wheelies, the fines for those offenses are less than a few hundred dollars, he said, and stunt riders don't take them seriously.

"They say it's just the cost of doing business," Lopez-Cantera said.

By naming wheelies in the law, the penalties are increased, he said.

"We needed to pass something they would fear," he said.

Tampa lawyer John MacKay, who represents motorcyclists in civil and traffic court, said the legislation is unnecessary.

"I think it's going to open a can of worms because it's difficult to see when that wheel is coming off the ground," he said. The law will be easily challenged, he said, "unless you've got a kid who is standing up vertically."

Still, it will come down to the word of the biker against the word of the law enforcement officer and witnesses.

Just about every biker charged will have a defense that a condition in the road caused the front wheel to come up, he said.

"If you hit a rock a little hard," MacKay said, "your wheel is going to come up off the ground."

He said he has seen the stunt riders and shakes his head at their bravado. Still, he said, the anti-wheelie law is not the answer.

"I have never heard of a problem with people doing wheelies," he said. "I see it. I know it makes people mad. I know it is a stupid thing to do. But ultimately natural selection takes its course."

Whether the law will be successfully challenged depends on the case, he said.

"Legislation like this, on the first time around, it's not so difficult to take it down," he said. "But as the government fine-tunes it, ultimately they will get something that will stand."
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:36 am

Yep, been that way for a while now. I saw this artilce in cycle world a few years back. You don't have to wear a lid there, but you do have to keep both wheels on the ground.....kinda ironic!

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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Dragon on Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:54 am

I'm guilty as sin of getting the front wheel airborne at times. But I never did it close to traffic and congestion. I blame the ones that do for stuff like this.
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by hayweed on Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:10 pm

I dont have to worry about that. I dont think you could get mine on the rear wheel without breaking the drive belt.

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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Jack the Bagger on Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:10 pm

me and stoopid came to an agreement long ago
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Guest on Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:11 pm

"Natural selection will take its course."
Amazingly true. Darwin will handle the ones without good sense. So why pass this law? You can't MAKE people behave. Let nature take its course and cull the herd.

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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Guest on Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:29 am

florida has a zero tolrance policy for street racig also, if your caught its 5000 and they crush your car. bu guess where we are 2nd saturday a month in pensacola. the laws like that dont do any good, so much for the land of the free

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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by jughead on Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:04 am

Deviant1 wrote:"Natural selection will take its course."
Amazingly true. Darwin will handle the ones without good sense. So why pass this law? You can't MAKE people behave. Let nature take its course and cull the herd.

This is true... but for every one natural selection gets two more take their place.
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by ZombieNNN on Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:35 pm

I have seen them doing wheelies across Airport Blvd at Schillinger before, crazy.
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Paladin on Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:12 pm

Personally I have seen these jack@55es on the bayway doing in excess of 100 mph on their back tire.
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Guest on Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:24 pm

in defense of fun and all things fun to do on sport bikes, yes its bad to do it when there are alot of cars. but id like to see you yank a hand full of throttle on one and not hit 100 on pure accident. 2 I know that all of you have had your crazy balls out days on one wheel i'm sure even if no one was looking, I know cuz good bit of you have told me yourself.again I agree that it is dangerous to do in traffic. its getting to the point where you cant do anything without there being a specific statute writ just especially for that such act. I think that wreckless endangerment and wreckless driving are fine accusations for the crime, I just dont think a wheelie law is needed, if you have heard of anyone who has gotten in troubl for doing things like this you would find that on average the punishment is very similar to the one they are writing, due to the fact that the officer does his job and writes out every thing you have done wrong and sends it up the court sytem to be dealt do justice. I dont think that a personal agenda should be taken to the law books because he spilled his mocha when a wide open throttle exhaust scared him. I believe that if you do the crime you deserve to do the time and I HAVE SERVED MANY INFRACTIONS. I guess thats just my plight against big government


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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by hayweed on Fri Sep 03, 2010 6:33 pm

I totaly agree. Although I have never done a wheelie. I have never owned a bike that would do it either. I belive that I might have picked up the front tire on a friends bike but it would have been maybe 2 inches off the ground. Not a true wheelie. If you want to be a stuntman, go for it. I will not judge you for it. If I had a bike capable of it I might do every now and again too. Twisted Evil

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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Dragon on Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:24 pm

Like I said, I am guilty. Nick has rode alongside me, we don't go slow. And neither do these guys in their beefed up sports cars, hot rods, trucks or anyone else who ZIPS thru traffic. Always been those who do that.

Street drags have been around since the invention of the wheel. Guilty again. But again back in my heyday, it was on back roads or late at night on near deserted roads for us.

I have zero issue with any of it, save for doing it in heavy traffic. One, I do something dumb and I get rash, bad on me. I would rather not endanger other people as for myself. And two, again, IMO, doing that stuff next to other vehicles, scaring the crap out of folks is IMO, just ASKING to piss someone off, and BAM, another law on the books.

But that is my opinion only. No better than anyone else's. And not at all intended to start a war between members or piss anyone off. Apologies if I did so.
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by Guest on Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:20 pm

sad part is it will be voted in with no say so to the people, and he got in officer because he rode a pro-choice banner or some kind of NRA banner

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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by joeyputt on Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:43 pm

Things are getting tough and it really is a shame that the people will not stand togethor for what they believe in anymore, sometimes I feel like I and my beliefs are all alone amongst a herd of sheep...why does everyone just go along these days...? I just don't get it, but I better stay away from politics...

...on another note I have been racing anything on wheels since I had my first big wheel! remember those!? Throughout most of my life I have only had two speeds, wide open and stop but I recently got stopped for going too slow...! Everyone that knows me got a good laugh out of that one and I couldn't help but giggle myself when the officer told me why I was pulled...but he was cool like most of our officers over this way...I am still tripping though, never thought I would see that day...too slow...???
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Re: New Florida "Wheelie" Law

Post by camo on Sun Aug 12, 2012 9:19 pm

There is a place to ride wheelies, public street is NOT that place. I have no sympathy for someone that gets a ticket riding like a careless fool on public streets. Brings a bad image to our sport
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