September 2019
Regulations on Safety Standards for E-Scooters Proposed

2019-09-06 10:49:52 AM

CATEGORIES: Transportation

The Ministry of Transportation is proposing regulations regarding the use of electric-scooters (e-scooters) and safety standards for on-road use as part of a pilot project.

The proposed pilot framework will be in place for five years (no start date yet for the pilot) and will include a number of operator/rider/vehicle requirements, including:

  • E-scooters operating on-road similar to where bicycles can operate; prohibited on controlled access highways

    • It is not yet clear if municipal governments will retain the power to set aside road space for bicycles only

  • Minimum operating age 16

  • Bicycle helmet required for those under 18 years old

  • No passengers allowed

  • Maximum operating speed 32 km/h

  • No pedals or seat allowed

  • Must have 2 wheels and brakes

  • Maximum wheel diameter 17 inches

  • Must have horn or bell

  • Must have front and back light

  • Maximum weight 45kg and Maximum power output 500W


The proposed regulations also state that "municipalities are specifically asked to report data as requested by the Ministry."

The deadline for comments is September 12th, 2019. To submit your feedback, please click here.

The use of e-scooters have been increasing across multiple jurisdictions, including in Toronto’s Distillery District where a two-week pilot project this week was launched by e-scooter sharing company, Bird Canada (this is not in violation of the law as the Distillery District is privately owned).

While e-scooters are appealing as an environmentally friendly mode of transportation, it is proving to be controversial across multiple cities due to safety concerns. Similar to bike-share systems, e-scooters can be rented for short periods by users but can be left anywhere, unlike many bike-sharing systems where there is a designated docking station. This has caused concern among residents who worry they will be left “across narrow sidewalks and piled up outside businesses.”

This has led Paris, France to impose restrictions on where users can leave an e-scooter. Some cities in the US, such as Chattanooga and Nashville, have contemplated similar restrictions or even banning them all together.

Bird Canada is mitigating such concerns by creating a designated area within the Distillery District known as a ‘geofence’.

It is unclear how or if the province will address such concerns.

Moreover, there are concerns on the speed of e-scooters and safety for disabled people. Jaime Stuckless, Executive Director of the Share the Road Cycling Coalition, has argued the speed should be limited to 24km/hr and David Lepofsky, chair of the AODA (Accessibiity for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) Alliance, has said the public impact, specifically on disabled people, should be studied more before a pilot is implemented.  

For more information, please see below:

Ontario’s Regulatory Registry: Kick Style Electric Scooter (E-Scooter)

CBC News: Ontario plans to launch 5-year pilot project that allows e-scooters on roads

CP24: Dockless e-scooter company launches pilot in Distillery District


 


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