Commissionaires Should Exercise Discretion


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Honda Motor Scooter

Ted Syme of Oak Bay contributed this letter.

Oak Bay is a municipality located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, in the Province of British Columbia. A member municipality of the Capital Regional District, it is a community east of and adjacent to the City of Victoria.

A few weeks before Christmas, I was the recipient of a $10 parking ticket for parking my Honda motor scooter beside the bike stands at the Monterey Rec Centre.

I had been parking there for more than a year. A phone conversation with the commissionaires got me nowhere and was a waste of time, so I just wrote the experience off and paid the penalty.

There was no recourse such as traffic court – tried, convicted and fined.

Last week I bumped into a former neighbour in Oak Bay, a pensioner like me, and he told me he got a ticket, too. Same location, same commissionaire, but it was for parking beside the large flower pots and not on the sidewalk.

We were both told to park in a full-sized vehicle spot, which seems a waste to me, as there is no designated motor scooter parking. I had mine knocked over once in an auto parking spot, so I hesitate to do so.

What happened to the discretionary ability of enforcement?

Our motor scooters do not block sidewalks, or take up much more room than a bicycle.

I will take a full-sized spot from now on, or maybe take my car that burns 10 times as much gas. This was $10 that the food bank didn’t get.

The Capital Regional District (CRD) should look at revising their by-laws to provide an exemption to scooters when they park amongst bicycles. This would mean that they could park in a prescribed manner without the fear of receiving tickets.

Oak Bay has been referred to as being located “Behind the Tweed Curtain“,a lighthearted allusion to the Iron Curtain


Electric bikes

An electric bike, or motor-assisted cycle, is a two- or three-wheeled cycle with a seat, pedals and an electric motor (up to 500 watts). A motor assisted cycle (MAC) cannot be gas-powered.

Cycles without attached pedals

Gas-powered cycles and electric cycles without attached pedals do not qualify as an electric motor-assisted cycle and will not pass a provincial motor vehicle inspection that would enable them to meet registration, licensing and insurance requirements for on-road use.

Rules of the road

To operate a motor-assisted cycle (MAC), you must be 16 or older and wear a bicycle helmet.

You don’t need a drivers licence or need to register, licence and/or insure your MAC, but you are subject to the same rights and duties as the driver of a motor vehicle. You also must follow bicycle safety rules.

Different rules for electric bikes and mopeds/scooters

Some motor-assisted cycles look a lot like mopeds and scooters (also known as limited-speed motorcycles—LSMs). However, the rules for operating MACs and LSMs aren’t the same.

Make sure you’re riding legally. Check the table below to see which rules apply to you.

Motor assisted cyclesLimited speed motorcycles
DescriptionCombine the pedal power of bicycles with the power assistance of an electric motor.See Section 151 of the Motor Vehicle Act: Motor Assisted Cycle RegulationAre low-powered motorcycles (that is, mopeds and scooters). LSMs rely on motor power and are generally not equipped with bicycle-style pedals.
PowerElectric motor of 500 watts or less
bicycle-style pedals for manual propulsion.
Gas engine 50 cc or less
electric motor less than 1,500 watts.
Maximum speed32 km/h on level ground without pedalling.70 km/h on level ground.
Vehicle registration, licensing and insuranceNone required. (Insurance may be available under a homeowner’s policy.)An LSM must be registered, licensed and insured as a motor vehicle.
Driver No driver’s licence is needed.
You must be at least 16 years old.
You must have a driver’s licence of any class. You can not operate on a learner’s licence other than a Class 6 or 8 motorcycle learner’s licence.
Helmet Must wear a bike helmet.Must wear a motorcycle helmet.
Rules of the roadSubject to the same rights and duties as the driver of a motor vehicle, such as obeying all traffic lights and control devices.As well, bicycle safety rules should be followed.See Section 183 of the Motor Vehicle Act: Rights and duties of operator of cycle.external link Subject to the same rights and duties of a motor vehicle, such as obeying all traffic lights and control devices.In some areas, highway use is restricted. For details, please contact your local police.
Manufacturer’s labelAs a condition of initial sale, all commercially manufactured MACs must have a label stating that the vehicle is a “power-assisted bicycle.”As a condition of initial sale, all commercially manufactured LSMs must bear a permanently affixed compliance label. On this, or on another separate label, a statement must appear that the use of the vehicle may be restricted by provincial authorities to certain roads.


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