With the start of the new decade, we’re happy to share some great news: Effective January 1st, 2020, the Ontario Government has introduced a 5-year pilot program to allow the use of Electric Scooters all across the province! Ontario now joins Alberta and Quebec as the three Canadian provinces allowing the use of Electric Scooters and we thought it’d be great to summarize some of the key changes and how you can continue to have a great riding experience!
So what exactly are the new electric scooter laws introduced in Ontario?
The Electric Scooter pilot program for Ontario falls under Ontario Regulation 389/19 made under the Highway Traffic Act and follows a set of regulations and guidelines; the idea here is to make Ontario more welcoming for the Electric Scooter community!
So far, the Ontario Government has set up a series of regulations and guidelines for using Electric Scooters; However, it will be up to local municipalities (cities) to decide which of these laws they choose to adopt, based on what they deem to be safe and considered best practice in their local communities. We strongly recommend you reach out to your local municipality to determine what is permitted in your local area!
Key Provincial Requirements:
We did a deep dive into the new Ontario regulations, and we pulled out the key requirements that we thought would be beneficial for our Electric Scooter users:
- Motor Capacity: Maximum power output of 500W with a maximum speed of 24km/h (avoiding Sports Mode on our ES4 and ES Max scooters will comply with this guideline)
- Electric Scooter Specifications: Maximum weight of 45kg with a maximum wheel diameter of 17 inches
- Accessories: Electric Scooters must have a horn/bell, front and backlight, 2 wheels and brakes. No seats or pedals are permitted.
- Age: Minimum of 16 years of age. If you are under 18 years old, you must wear a helmet.
- Other: No passengers allowed (only 1 person per scooter), no baskets or cargo carried, not to be used on sidewalks, keep a safe distance from pedestrians and other users of the roadway and no commercial use allowed.
- Important: No drugs or alcohol permitted during operating the Electric Scooter (criminal punishment may apply)
Please refer to the Electric Scooter Pilot Project in Ontario.
For an easy summary of requirements and best practices from the Ontario Government, please refer to the Ontario e-scooter program.
Questions to ask your municipal (local) representatives:
Since each municipality is responsible for determining which regulations and guidelines they wish to adopt, each municipality will have its own unique set of rules. Here are some sample questions you might want to consider asking:
- Where will I be allowed to use my Electric Scooter? For example, will I be able to use it on bike paths, parks, trails, sidewalks, etc.
- How will Electric Scooters share the roadway with other users such as bicycles and pedestrians?
- Is there any laws or regulations that my local municipality has adopted for Electric Scooters that are different from the Provincial (Ontario) requirements? For example, does everyone have to wear a helmet or is it still only for riders under 18 years of age?
- NOTE: Similar to bicycles, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA) rules of the road apply to e-scooters in Ontario. Fines can range from $250 - $2,500 and serious consequences for drug/alcohol use while driving an electric scooter will be enforced (so don’t do it!)
TekTrendy’s Closing Thoughts:
Here at TekTrendy, we believe this move by the Ontario Government is a step in the right direction. It really showcases the benefits of Electric Scooters within our communities and we’re so glad that the various Provincial Governments are finally starting to realize that!
From our research, the Electric Scooter market is only expected to grow, which can be attributed to several key benefits such as:
- It’s Super Convenient: Having an Electric Scooter makes it easy to commute to work, pick up groceries and supplies and get to where you want to go, without having to worry about parking or transit times. Plus, it forces you to go outside and avoid sitting down constantly, which can be beneficial for your health!
- It’s Affordable: Yes, there’s an upfront cost to getting an Electric Scooter. But think about it this way. Most alternative methods of transportation, once you add up items like parking, gas, transit costs or maintenance, will end up costing a lot more over the long run. If you ride the bus/train or drive to and from work every day, you can save at least $32 a week by riding your scooter to and from work instead. That means you can completely pay off your scooter investment in just under 8 months… that’s what we call cost savings! Finally...
- It’s Great for the Environment: If convenience and affordability weren’t enough, having an Electric Scooter also helps reduce the number of cars on the road, leading to a healthier and more sustainable planet in the long-run! Isn’t that exciting!
So I’m interested. What’s the next step for me?
If you’re looking to get a top of the line Electric Scooter and want to know more information about what’s the best fit for you, we recommend you check out our Electric Scooter Buying Guide, where we walk through the features and what the best fit would be for you, depending on your needs! Click here to access that guide!