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  DRP Reminds Riders on E-Bike Safety

Jul 06, 2012 12:03 ET

During the summer months the use of mopeds, motor scooters and electric bicycles becomes more frequent and we would like to remind riders on how to stay safe while operating these motor vehicles.

Moped (motor-assisted bicycle)
• Looks like bicycle but has an attached electric or gas motor less then 50 cubic centimeters
• Maximum speed of 50 km/h
• Gas-powered
• Pedals must be operable at all times
• Considered a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code of Canada

Can be operated on roads in Ontario if the driver:
• Holds a valid licence with class M1 or M2 or M with condition L(limited Speed Motorcycle)
• Wears a motorcycle helmet
• Insures and registers the vehicle
• Does not allow passengers
• Ensures vehicle meets MVSA safety standards
• Stays off of certain highways such as the 400 series
• Drives within a lane marked for motor vehicle traffic. If traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic at that time and place, then must travel as close to the right edge of the roadway as is practicable.

Motor Scooter / Limited-Speed Motorcycle
• Looks very similar to a moped, but does not have pedals
• Maximum speed of 70 km/h
• Considered a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code of Canada

Can be operated on roads in Ontario if the driver:
• Holds a valid licence with class M1 or M2 or M with condition L(limited Speed Motorcycle)
• Insures, registers and plates the vehicle
• Wears a motorcycle helmet, this includes the passenger
• Stays off of certain highways such as the 400 series
• Drives within a lane marked for motor vehicle traffic. If traveling slower than the normal speed of traffic at that time and place, then must travel as close to the right edge of the roadway as is practicable.

Power Assisted/Electric Bicycle
• No modifications allowed to increase speed or power of 32 km/h
• Considered a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code of Canada
• Must have bell, white front light and red rear lights
• Must drive this vehicle as close to the right edge of the roadway as is practicable (similar to a bicycle)

The following is a guideline on how to deal with Power Assisted Bicycles:
• Has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals
• Is capable of being propelled by muscular power
• Has one or more electric motors that have, singly or in combination, the following characteristics:
1. It is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32km/h on level ground
2. Bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer and appears in a conspicuous location stating, in both official languages, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in this subsection and
3. Has one of the following safety features:
a) An enabling mechanism to turn the electric motor on and off that is separate from the accelerator controller and fitted in such a manner that it is operable by the driver or
b) A mechanism that prevents the motor from being engaged before the bicycle attains a speed of 3km/h

Operators of a Power Assisted Bicycle must be over the age of 16 years and must wear a bicycle or motorcycle helmet as required by subsection 104(2.1) of the Act. Operators must follow the same rules of the road as they apply to an operator of a bicycle.

Facts on driving an e-bike (power-assisted bicycle):

  • You do not need a licence to operate an e-bike, however it is still considered a motor vehicle under the Criminal Code of Canada
  • Driving an e-bike while intoxicated is illegal and you can be charged for impaired driving. If convicted you can face a fine, jail time and a driving prohibition
  • If your licence has been suspended under the Criminal Code of Canada you can not legally drive an e-bike until the prohibition has been lifted



    Below are attached files.
    Scooter thumb (JPG file, 33.1K bytes)
    Ministry of Transportation Fact Sheet on E-Bikes, Mopeds and Motor Scooters (PDF file, 128.4K bytes)