New wheels may be hitting the asphalt soon as e-scooters could make an appearance on public roads, thanks to a new provincial regulatory framework.
The Limited Speed Motor Vehicle Regulations, 2022, will be put in place to govern the use of motorized vehicles with a maximum speed of 32 kilometres per hour.
The framework was developed following consultation last fall with municipalities, law enforcement, safety organizations, and stakeholders. Most respondents were in favour of allowing their use on public roads, with many supporters viewing e-scooters as an eco-friendly mode of transportation.
“These regulations give significant consideration to safety, to help ensure people can ride e-scooters while minimizing risk,” Don Morgan, Minister responsible for SGI, said. “While municipalities have always had the option to allow e-scooters on sidewalks and walking paths, these new regulations serve public demand while providing municipal authority for additional bylaws.”
Municipalities may pass bylaws to allow e-scooters and authorize where and when they can be used - if a municipality does not pass a bylaw permitting their use, e-scooters will continue to be prohibited on public roads in that community.
The provincial regulations are as follows:
- E-scooters can only be permitted on roads with a speed of 50 kilometres per hour or less;
- E-scooters cannot be operated at a speed greater than 24 km/hr;
- Operators must be a minimum age of 16 years or older;
- Riders are required to wear safety gear such as helmets;
- Municipalities and provincial and national parks have the authority to create bylaws around the use of e-scooters.
Where these devices are permitted, anyone operating one of these devices on a public road is required to follow traffic laws. Impaired operation of e-scooters is not allowed. Motorists are expected to keep safety in mind and share the road, as they currently do with bicyclists.
E-scooters don’t have to be registered and don’t require a driver’s licence to operate but they must comply with municipal bylaws and meet the provincial e-scooter regulations. Any fines or penalties for operating an e-scooter in a restricted area in your community, town or city are up to the municipality.
These provincial regulations initially focus on e-scooters. While other vehicles aren’t included at this time, the regulations position the province to react to other micro-mobility devices in the future.