Seatless bike legislation speeds though latest committee

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Under the new bill, Floridians would be legally allowed to ride bicycles without seats if designed by the manufacturer to be ridden that way.

A Senate bill to remove a seemingly obscure biking regulation disallowing seatless bikes earned unanimous support in the Senate Community Affairs Committee.

The legislation would make way for elliptical bicycles, one of the many ways cycling is experiencing a boom in popularity since the pandemic.

Pedaling the bill (SB 738) is sponsor Sen. Dennis Baxley. Baxley said people in the Villages and other parts of Florida ride the standing bicycles.

In a House Tourism, Infrastructure & Energy Subcommittee meeting, sponsor of House companion legislation (HB 353), Rep. Brett Hage, said Villages’ residents have received tickets for riding the seatless bikes.

Current law prohibits a person from operating a bicycle without a seat. They can only ride “upon or astride a permanent and regular seat.”

Offenders must pay a $15 penalty, plus court costs.

Under the new bill, Floridians would be legally allowed to ride bicycles without seats if designed by the manufacturer to be ridden that way.

According to the bill’s analysis, no other state prohibited a person from riding a bicycle without a seat except for California, though California state law did include the exception for bikes designed by the manufacturer to be ridden without a seat.

The only discussion on the bill in Wednesday’s hearing was for Sen. Janet Cruz to tell Baxley when she read the bill, she pictured him riding a standup bike in the neighborhood.

The Senate bill now sits with the Rules committee. The House companion bill is on second reading.

Haley Brown

Haley Brown covers state government for FloridaPolitics.com. Previously, Haley covered the West Virginia Legislature and anchored weekend newscasts for WVVA in Bluefield, W.Va. Haley is a Florida native and a graduate of the University of Florida. You can reach her at [email protected]



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