2019 Florida Statutes
AUTOMOBILE RACE MEETS
AUTOMOBILE RACE MEETS
AUTOMOBILE RACE MEETS
549.01 Holding automobile race meets; notice to sheriff.
549.02 Duties of sheriffs.
549.03 Sheriff to exclude from course vehicles and persons.
549.04 Association holding race to pay sheriff’s fees.
549.05 Holding race meet without notice to sheriff; penalty.
549.06 Failure of person to remove from automobile racecourse; penalty.
549.08 Motor vehicle racing event; permits to conduct on highway or street or in park within municipality.
549.09 Motorsport nonspectator liability release.
549.10 Motorsports entertainment complex; contracts.
549.102 Motorsports entertainment complex; overnight parking.
549.01 Holding automobile race meets; notice to sheriff.—Any persons intending to hold any automobile race meet in any public place within the state shall give notice thereof in writing to the sheriff of the county wherein it is proposed to hold such race meet, at least 10 days prior to the holding thereof, stating the time when and the place where such race meet is to occur. Notice shall be given to the sheriff of each county into which any such meet shall extend.
History.—s. 1, ch. 5438, 1905; RGS 2359; CGL 3763.
549.02 Duties of sheriffs.—Every sheriff who shall receive the notice provided for in s. 549.01, or who shall have other notice or knowledge of the proposed occurrence of any race meet within her or his county, shall forthwith take such measures as shall be reasonably necessary for the safeguarding of the public and the protection of persons from injury while such race shall be in progress. Every sheriff may appoint a sufficient number of deputies to thoroughly police the course over which such race is to take place, and may designate and maintain the boundaries prescribed for such course by stakes, ropes or otherwise, wherever it may seem necessary.
History.—s. 2, ch. 5438, 1905; RGS 2360; CGL 3764; s. 778, ch. 97-103.
549.03 Sheriff to exclude from course vehicles and persons.—Every sheriff and every deputy appointed by her or him shall exclude from the course over which any race shall be about to occur, and at least 30 minutes prior to the starting thereof, all animals, vehicles, and persons, except those officiating or participating in such race, and their assistants, and shall keep such course free from the intrusion of any animal, vehicle, or person, except as above-provided, for a period beginning at least 30 minutes prior to the starting of such race and extending during the whole time such race shall be in progress.
History.—s. 3, ch. 5438, 1905; RGS 2361; CGL 3765; s. 779, ch. 97-103.
549.04 Association holding race to pay sheriff’s fees.—Every sheriff and deputy sheriff participating in the policing of any racecourse, as provided in this chapter, shall receive the sum of $2 per day during the period in which such races are in progress, which shall be paid by the persons holding the races.
History.—s. 5, ch. 5438, 1905; RGS 2362; CGL 3766.
549.05 Holding race meet without notice to sheriff; penalty.—Any person participating in any automobile race meet in any public place within this state, when the notice required to be given to the sheriff of the county wherein it is proposed to hold such race meet as required by this chapter has not been given, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083.
History.—s. 1, ch. 5438, 1905; RGS 5644; CGL 7839; s. 537, ch. 71-136.
549.06 Failure of person to remove from automobile racecourse; penalty.—Any person, except those officiating or participating in such race, and their assistants, who, upon being requested so to do by the sheriff or deputy sheriff, shall fail or refuse to move beyond the boundaries of the course over which any automobile race is about to occur, or who shall fail or refuse to remove from within such boundaries any animal or vehicle owned or controlled by her or him, or who shall knowingly enter within such boundaries after being warned therefrom by such sheriff or deputy sheriff, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083, and shall be subject to immediate arrest and removal by such sheriff or deputy sheriff.
History.—s. 4, ch. 5438, 1905; RGS 5645; CGL 7840; s. 538, ch. 71-136; s. 780, ch. 97-103.
549.08 Motor vehicle racing event; permits to conduct on highway or street or in park within municipality.—
(1) This section shall be known and may be cited as the “Municipal Motor Vehicle Racing Act of 1984.”
(2) “Motorsports teams” means drivers of motor vehicles and those persons who directly support motorsports drivers in a pit area during racing events.
(3) For the purposes of this section, the term “racing event” means a motor vehicle race which is sanctioned by a nationally or internationally recognized racing organization and includes the preparations, practices, and qualifications for the race.
(4)(a) A municipality may provide for the issuance of a permit allowing the person to whom the permit is issued to conduct a racing event on a highway or street or in a park within the limits of the municipality. A person may not conduct a racing event on a highway or street or in a park in a municipality unless the person has been issued a permit which runs for the same time period as any contract for conducting the race.
(b) Prior to the issuance of a permit under this section, the municipality must determine:
1. That the person applying for the permit has adequate insurance to pay any damages incurred because of loss of or injury to any person or property;
2. That the person applying for the permit has demonstrated experience in conducting a racing event on a highway or street or in a park;
3. That adequate security and necessary facilities will be provided during the racing event; and
4. That the person applying for the permit has demonstrated the ability to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of the municipality and those persons attending the racing event.
(c) A municipality may charge a reasonable fee for the issuance of a permit under this section.
(5) A person who is issued a permit pursuant to this section may do all of the following for the purposes of a racing event conducted pursuant to this section:
(a) Limit access to the racing event area and any area from which the racing event may be viewed.
(b) Provide for viewing areas and pit areas or any other area necessary to the conduct of the racing event.
(c) Charge admission fees to persons viewing the race or entering the racing event area.
(d) Take any other action reasonably necessary for the purposes of a racing event under this section.
(6)(a) A person who is issued a permit under this section shall reasonably protect private property rights and shall not prevent access to governmental facilities.
(b) A person who is issued a permit under this section shall provide for the restoration of all highways or streets, alleys, sidewalks, buildings, and parks to a substantially similar condition as existed before the racing event so that the highways or streets, alleys, sidewalks, buildings, and parks are suitable for their normal use. The restoration of any asphalt or paving must occur after the expiration of the permit or, if a race does not occur, within 24 months of the running of the previous race.
(7) With respect to any racing event held pursuant to this section, a municipality may:
(a) Provide for the temporary closing or obstructing of highways or streets, alleys, sidewalks, and parks located within the municipality.
(b) Reroute pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
(c) Waive ordinances and traffic regulations, including ordinances and regulations providing for speed limits and traffic control devices.
(8) A municipality that issues a permit under this section is not liable for any damages that may result from the racing event because of loss of or injury to any person or property. After a permit is issued, the state or county is not liable for any damages that may result from the racing event because of loss of or injury to any person or property. If a municipality, a county, or the state is insured against liability for damages for any negligent or wrongful act, omission, or occurrence resulting from a racing event, the provisions of this subsection do not apply to the extent of such coverage provided by the insurance policy.
(9) A racing event held pursuant to this section and the actions of the municipality or the permitholder taken pursuant to this section shall not be considered or found to be a public or private nuisance.
(10) A racing event held under this section and any action taken by a municipality or a permitholder pursuant to this section shall be considered as being for public purposes, including the promotion of commerce and tourism, and for the benefit of the citizens of the municipality and the state.
History.—ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ch. 84-214; s. 1, ch. 87-214; s. 32, ch. 89-289.
549.09 Motorsport nonspectator liability release.—
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Closed-course motorsport facility” means a closed-course speedway or racetrack designed and intended for motor vehicle competition, exhibitions of speed, or other forms of recreation involving the use of motor vehicles, including motorcycles.
(b) “Nonspectator area” means a posted area within a closed-course motorsport facility, admission to which is conditioned upon the signing of a motorsport liability release, which is intended for event participants, and which excludes the “spectator area” as defined in paragraph (c).
(c) “Spectator area” means a specified area within a closed-course motorsport facility intended for admission to the general public, whether or not an admission price is charged, or to which admitted persons of the general public have unrestricted access, including the grandstands and other general admission seating or viewing areas.
(d) “Posted” means a nonspectator area enclosed by a fence or wall at least 6 feet high in all areas where nonparticipants might gain entrance, and at least 3 feet high in any other areas, with signs having letters at least 4 inches high restricting entry, including, but not limited to, signs reading “Nonspectator Area,” displayed not more than 500 feet from the entrance to the nonspectator area and at each entrance to the nonspectator area.
(e) “Negligence” means all forms of negligence, whether misfeasance or nonfeasance, and failure to warn against an existing or future dangerous condition, but does not include gross negligence, recklessness, or willful and wanton conduct.
(f) “Motor vehicle” means an automobile, motorcycle, or any other vehicle propelled by power, other than muscular power, used to transport persons and which operates within the confines of a closed-course motorsports track.
(g) “Nonspectator” means an event participant who has signed a motorsport liability release or, in the case of a minor, whose natural guardian has signed a motorsport liability release on behalf of the minor.
(2) Any person who operates a closed-course motorsport facility may require, as a condition of admission to any nonspectator part of such facility, the signing of a liability release form. The persons or entities owning, leasing, or operating the facility or sponsoring or sanctioning the motorsport event shall not be liable to a nonspectator or her or his heirs, representative, or assigns for negligence which proximately causes injury or property damage to the nonspectator within a nonspectator area during the period of time covered by the release.
(3)(a) A motorsport liability release may be signed by more than one person if the release form appears on each page, or side of a page, which is signed. A motorsport liability release must be printed in 8 point type or larger.
(b)1. If a minor is participating in a motorsports event as defined in s. 549.10, the motorsport liability release must comply with the requirements of this section and is valid to the same extent provided for other nonspectators under this section.
2. If a minor is participating in an activity at a closed-course motorsport facility, other than a motorsports event as defined in s. 549.10, a waiver or release must comply with the requirements in s. 744.301(3) and is valid only to the extent, and subject to the presumptions, provided in that subsection.
History.—s. 1, ch. 91-104; s. 781, ch. 97-103; s. 1, ch. 2010-27.
549.10 Motorsports entertainment complex; contracts.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Motorsports entertainment complex” means a closed-course motorsports facility and its ancillary grounds and facilities which:
1. Has at least 70,000 fixed seats for race patrons;
2. Has at least 7 scheduled days of motorsports events each calendar year;
3. Has at least four motorsports events each calendar year;
4. Serves food and beverages at the facility during sanctioned events each calendar year through concession outlets, a majority of which are staffed by individuals who represent or are members of one or more nonprofit civic or charitable organizations that directly financially benefit from such concession outlet sales;
5. Engages in tourism promotion; and
6. Has on the property permanent exhibitions of motorsports history, events, or vehicles.
(b) “Motorsports event” means a motorsports race and its ancillary activities that have been sanctioned by a sanctioning body.
(c) “Owner” means a person who owns and operates a motorsports entertainment complex; a person who leases a motorsports entertainment complex or the land on which a motorsports entertainment complex is located from the Federal Government, the state, or a county, municipality, or special district and operates the motorsports entertainment complex; or a person who operates and maintains a motorsports entertainment complex under an operation and management agreement entered into with the Federal Government, the state, or a county, municipality, or special district.
(d) “Sanctioning body” means the American Motorcycle Association (AMA); Auto Racing Club of America (ARCA); Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART); Grand American Road Racing Association (GRAND AM); Indy Racing League (IRL); National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR); National Hot Rod Association (NHRA); Professional Sportscar Racing (PSR); Sports Car Club of America (SCCA); United States Auto Club (USAC); or any successor organization or any other nationally recognized governing body of motorsports that establishes an annual schedule of motorsports events and grants rights to conduct the events, that has established and administers rules and regulations governing all participants involved in the events and all persons conducting the events, and that requires certain liability assurances, including insurance.
(2)(a) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the owner of a motorsports entertainment complex who is not licensed as a vendor under chapter 561 and who meets the qualifications specified in s. 561.15 may enter into a promotional contract, including a contract with any other person which may require the payment of fees, except:
1. A person licensed under s. 563.02(3), unless that person is also licensed as a manufacturer;
2. A person licensed under s. 564.02(3)(a) unless that person is also licensed as a manufacturer; or
3. A person licensed under s. 565.03. However, this exception does not apply to any contract or to the renewal or extension of any contract in effect before October 1, 2000.
(b) The owner of a motorsports entertainment complex is not considered a vendor under s. 561.14 merely because it is affiliated with, a shareholder of, or sharing in percentage payments with any vendor licensed under that section at the complex and meets the qualifications specified in s. 561.15 unless:
1. The owner of the motorsports entertainment complex obligates or requires the licensed vendors operating at the motorsports entertainment complex to purchase or sell any particular brands of beverages defined in s. 561.01 in areas that are accessible to the public. Areas accessible to the public do not include any restricted access areas that are under lease, license, or occupancy contracts with the owner.
2. A person licensed under s. 563.02(3), with the knowledge of the owner, is directly or indirectly participating in or contributing to any advertising or promotional funds being used to pay fees to the owner of the motorsports entertainment complex.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2000-236.
549.102 Motorsports entertainment complex; overnight parking.—Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, the owner of a motorsports entertainment complex may allow temporary overnight parking during a motorsports event and the 2 days immediately preceding and following such motorsports event without any other license or permit as long as the area where such temporary overnight parking is allowed meets applicable health department requirements other than site requirements. The Department of Health, or any other health agency in the state, shall not regard such temporary overnight parking as a “recreational vehicle park” as described in chapter 513 and the administrative code adopted under that chapter.
History.—s. 25, ch. 2005-164.