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 a 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.