Ottawa e-Bike (Electric Bike) Rider charged twice for Impaired Driving in August, 2009

Update:

E-Bikes, which the Ontario Government allowed on the roads, as part of a three (3) year pilot project commencing in October 2006, are classified as “bicycles” in accordance with the Ontario Highway Traffic Act; they are classified as “motor vehicles” for the purposes of the Canadian Criminal Code. The definition of Motor Vehicle under the Criminal Code is “a motor vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, but does not include railway equipment.” Operating any vehicle under this definition while your ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs may lead to a free ride in a police cruiser and a criminal charge.

Ottawa Police announced through a Press Release today, that Mr. Pietro Caraccoilo, a 34 year old resident of Ottawa, was charged with two counts of impaired driving, while operating his e-Bike on the streets of Ottawa, Ontario. The first charge took place on August 18, 2009 and the second charge took place on August 28, 2009. He is scheduled to appear in court on these charges on Monday, September 14, 2009.

This isn’t the first time there has been come controversy surrounding e-Bikes:

In Toronto e-Bike riders were riding on Toronto’s sidewalk’s and the Public Works Committee was being asked to examine this problem and eliminate the legal loophole that allowed for it to happen.

e-Bikes in Toronto.

Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) to the Ontario Pilot Project respecting e-Bikes.

Laws that are applicable to e-Bikes can be confusing.

Power Assisted Bicycles: (also known as an “e-bike“)

In Ontario, in order to operate a power-assisted bicycle, the rider has to be at least sixteen (16) years of age and must be wearing a bicycle approved (C.S.A. approved) helmet while riding an e-bike.

These e-bikes or Power-Assisted Bicycles can achieve a maximum speed of thirty-two (32) kilometers per hour.

The legislation surrounding the use of an e-bike is unique in every Province and Territory

    British Columbia (sections 182.1 to 184 inclusive of the BC Motor Vehicle Act)
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Age restriction must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to operate this bike
    Alberta
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Age restriction must be at least twelve (12) years of age to operate
    Saskatchewan
    all these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Manitoba
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Age restriction must be at least fourteen (14) years of age to operate
    Ontario
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Age restriction must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to operate
    Quebec
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicle
    Age restriction must be at least sixteen (16) years of age to operate
    Nova Scotia
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Newfoundland & Labrador
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles
    Yukon Territory
    allow these bikes for public road use and are not defining them as motor vehicles

These e-bikes cost anywhere from $1,000.00 to $ 2,500.00 in Ontario.

An e-bike or Power-Assisted Bicycle is defined in section 2 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Canada).

Even though an e-bike is not defined as a “motor vehicle” in Ontario yet, every operator of one must ride it in a safe manner, so they must wear an approved bicycle helmet, have proper equipment (ie. Lights that work, Brakes that work and a Bell that rings)

Will the fines for an e-bike be the same as those on a traditional bicycle?

Yes – the same sanctions apply with respect to the normal rules of the road and the equipment standards. Other fines, ie – riding an e-bike without a helmet, or riding an e-bike under the age of sixteen (16) would attract stiffer fines, ranging from $ 250.00 to $ 2,500.00.

In addition to the set fine, is the court fee (normally $ 5.00) and the victim fine surcharge.

For more information go to this link: http://fightyourtickets.ca/law/motorcycles-and-mopeds/

Update: June 10, 2010 – What are the rules about Drinking and Biking?

Toronto Police Bicycle Safety Blitz

Update: See previous post and page on site.

The school year begins again (for most students) and as such, our children and grandchildren will be on everywhere, playing, walking, cycling, skateboarding and running. Cyclists and motorists alike will have to exercise patience and good judgement.

This year, between June 9 and 22, 2009 Toronto Police conducted a campaign which they named “Cycle Right“. The campaign was designed to educate cyclists about the consequences of aggressive driving on their bikes and to follow the traffic laws in place. Apparently Police laid over 2,200 charges and cautioned approximately 800 cyclists. See the 2008 results of the Toronto Police Bicycle Safety Blitz.

Toronto Police Services “54 Division” officers have commenced a campaign called “Safe Cycling“. It began on September 3, 2009 at 7:00 a.m. at the Broadview Avenue and Danforth Avenue intersection, where officers were observed handing out safe cycling pamphlets to cyclists. The campaign’s objective is to promote awareness and education and reducing cycle-related injuries. Officers stationed at 54 Division wants to remind motorists of the dangers of opening car doors (on the driver’s side and passenger side) in the path of moving cyclists and the importance of checking blind spots before making a right hand turn (which is where most collisions occur). The campaign commenced on September 3, 2009 and will finish on September 29, 2009.

Beginning on September 30, 2009 officers in the geographical area belonging to 54 Division will follow up with enforcement and generate tickets for those who don’t follow the rules of the road.

Commencing on September 8, 2009 Toronto Police Services will be conducting a city-wide campaign referred to as “Back to School Campaign”. This city-wide campaign will run from September 8 to September 22, 2009. In 2008 Police conducted the same “Back to School” campaign. During this period in 2008, there were nearly two (2) collisions per day, involving school−aged children as pedestrians or cyclists.

The following link provides alot of the offences, the sections of the H.T.A section that apply, the set fines, the court fees and the Victim Fine Surcharges and the total owing (after adding up the set fine, court fee and the victim fine surcharge).

  • September 14, 2009 – Should Toronto’s City Council mandate helmet usage for cyclists?
  • October 1, 2009 – Myth and Reality of Cycling and Safety.
  • October 5, 2009 – Green Commuting – Pilot project launched at Toronto’s Union Station.
  • April 19, 2010 – Bikes over Motor Vehicles
  • April 19, 2010 – U of T students believe walkway in the air could save lives of pedestrians.
  • April 23, 2010 – Bike messenger receives a $325.00 ticket when she travels through a red light on her bike.
  • June 10, 2010 – What are the rules about Drinking and Biking?
  • Bicycle Accidents Toronto, Reported in 2008

    Update:

    There were 1,068 bicycle accidents reported to Toronto Police in 2008 (based on a report from the Toronto Transportation Department). This information only refers to “reported incidents” and does not take into account all of those bicycle accidents which were not reported to Police.

    Toronto has tried to accommodate bicyclists with “bicycle paths” which often run parallel on roads with motor vehicles. Currently the City of Toronto has 50 kilometres of bicycle paths in Toronto and a bike trail system that is 125 kilometres long. The City has designed and installed over 11,000 post-and-ring bike racks to date and provides free bicycle parking at 46 out of 66 T.T.C subway stations. The T.T.C managed by the City, allows cyclists to bring their bikes onto the subway, streetcar or buses anytime, except during peak periods or rush hour (6:30-9:30 am & 3:30-6:30 pm).

    The City of Toronto is planning on developing a bike path on both the north and south sides of Lawrence Avenue East from Victoria Park Avenue, east to Rouge Hills Drive on the Pickering border. This road construction, to install the these extensive bike paths, will commence this year and continue through to 2010, until the construction is completed.

    In order to safely segregate motor vehicles from bicycles, that will use the newly designed bike path, the City of Toronto has decided to look at various safety options, including “noise strips” or “rumble strips”. Rumble strips are created when grooves are cut into the pavement and create a staccato noise when motor vehicles drive on that stretch of road.

    In most of the 110 intersections, there was more than one accident (involving a bicycle and a motor vehicle). Below are the nine (9) intersections which had the highest number of bicycle/motor vehicle accidents:

  • Bay St. and Dundas St. W. 7   Reported  Accidents
  • College St. and Crawford St. 7   Reported  Accidents
  • Queen St. and Broadview Ave. 5 Reported  Accidents
  • Yonge St. and Dundas St. W. 5 Reported  Accidents
  • Bloor St. and Bathurst St. 4 Reported  Accidents
  • Bloor St.W. and Keele St. 4 Reported  Accidents
  • Spadina Ave. and Dundas St.W. 4   Reported  Accidents
  • Islington Ave. and the Queensway 4   Reported  Accidents
  • King St.W. and John St. 4   Reported  Accidents
  • Dundas Street West intersects with three streets (Yonge, Bay and Spadina Avenue) in the top nine most dangerous intersections in Toronto for bicycles. At these three (3) intersections, there were sixteen (16) reported accidents out of the total of forty four (44) accidents (or almost 37% of the accidents) contained in the nine (9) intersections reporting the highest number of bicycle accidents in 2008.

    The Toronto Star has done an excellent job providing a geographical analysis reporting on this issue and mapping Toronto’s streets, indicating where all of these accidents (which include those resulting in injuries and fatalities) have occurred.

    See page with rules and regulations for Bicycles, eBikes, Mopeds and Motorcycles.

    Bicyclists continue to get injured or killed on the roads of Toronto. See story.

    In 2008 it was reported to police in Toronto that there were 1,932 incidents where motor vehicles collided with pedestrians. Incidents were particularly regular and high, in or around intersections. If motor vehicles
    are colliding with pedestrians, then there is a high probability that bicycles are at an equally high risk of being involved in collisions. See map of the reported incidents.

    The City of Toronto has reviewed collisions between bicycles and motor vehicles in the past.

    How cyclists in accidents are treated by Insurance Companies.

    Update: May 23, 2009 – Safe Cycling in Toronto “Video”

    Update: May 23, 2009 – Mandatory Bicycle Licensing.

    Update: May 23, 2009 – Cyclists versus Cars (1) on the mean streets of Toronto.

    Update: May 24, 2009- Cyclists versus Cars (2) on the mean streets of Toronto.

    Update: May 26, 2009- Making Biking Safer (3) on the mean streets of Toronto.

    Update: May 27, 2009- Cyclists Weigh In (4) on the last part of the 4 part series – on the mean streets of Toronto.

    Update: May 26, 2009 – City Council approves plan to remove middle lane of Jarvis Street (from Bloor Street south to Queen Street) and to utilize this space for a treed boulevard and bicycle lanes on the west/east side of Jarvis Street.

    Update: June 24, 2009 – Cyclists and Pedestrians in Hamilton, Ontario.(See transportation for liveable communities)

    Update: Sept.14/09 – Should Toronto’s City Council mandate helmet usage for cyclists?

    Update: September 22, 2009 – Bicycles come with a High Cost.

    Update: October 1, 2009 – Myth and Reality of Cycling and Safety.

    Update: October 5, 2009 – Green Commuting – Pilot project launched at Toronto’s Union Station.

    Update: November 25, 2009 – Toronto’s Motorists’ Pet Peeves

    Update: December 15, 2009 – Toronto Cyclists’ Pet Peeves

    Update: April 19, 2010 – Bikes over Motor Vehicles

    Update: April 19, 2010 – U of T students believe walkway in the air could save lives of pedestrians.

    Update: April 23, 2010 – Bike messenger receives a $325.00 ticket when she travels through a red light on her bike.

    Update: June 10, 2010 – What are the rules about Drinking and Biking?

    City of Toronto Considering Installing “Rumble Strips”

    Update:

    The City of Toronto is planning on developing a bike path on both the north and south sides of Lawrence Avenue East from Victoria Park Avenue, east to Rouge Hills Drive on the Pickering border. This road construction, to install the these extensive bike paths, would commence in 2009 and would continue through to 2010, until the construction is completed.

    In order to safely segregate motor vehicles from bicycles, that will use the newly designed bike path, the City of Toronto has decided to look at various safety options, including “noise strips” or “rumble strips”. Rumble strips are created when grooves are cut into the pavement and create a staccato noise when motor vehicles drive on that stretch of road. These “rumble strips” have traditionally been utilized on major highways and expressways and remind a driver, when they drive on these rumble strips that they are driving on the shoulder of the highway or expressway. This normally wakes up motorists who begin to fall asleep and begin to veer off the highway.

    City Councillor Adrian Heaps, Chairperson of the Toronto Cycling Committee stated “We’re looking at some kind of demarcation that is safe for cars and safe for bikes”.

    Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a wonderful “2009” New Year. Drive safely.

    Source: news

    April 18, 2010 – Bikes over Motor Vehicles

    April 23, 2010 – Bike messenger receives a $325.00 ticket when she travels through a red light on her bike.

    Appealing a Conviction or Sentence and Green Alternatives – Motorcycles, Mopeds and e-Bikes

    Update:

    In the Tickets section, following the “Conviction Notice” a new page has been added, called Appealing a Conviction or Sentence. This new addition describes the process and procedure of launching an appeal of the ruling of the Justice of the Peace.  This can be done by the defendent (you) or by the Prosecutor, who disagrees with the Justice of the Peace when the ruling is in your favour.

    In the Law section, following the “Demerit Point System in Ontario” a new page has been added, called Green Alternatives – Motorcycles, Mopeds and e-Bikes. This new addition speaks to Green transportation alternatives, namely Motorcyles, Mopeds and e-Bikes.  e-Bikes are power assisted bicycles.

    This new page speaks to the Free Parking in Toronto for all motorcycles, motor scooters and mopeds. You’ll find the laws surrounding e-bikes in Ontario (and the other provinces) and fines for traditional bicycles and e-bikes in Ontario.

    A thanks again to all that have supported this website.  It is encouraging to know that people have utilized this site and are happy with the results.  Hoping everyone enjoys the holiday season and has a healthy and happy 2009!