Green Alternatives – Motorcycles, Mopeds and e-Bikes

Free Parking in the City of Toronto:

In the City of Toronto, on October 28, 2005 the City Council passed a resolution which had the effect of allowing all Motorcycles, Motor Scooter and Mopeds (not electric bikes) to park for free on any street in Toronto in which parking is allowed.

A motorcycle, motor scooter or moped can park in any Green “P” parking (outdoors or indoors) for free as long as the motorcycle, motor scooter or moped is parked at an angle, not more than sixty (60) degrees to the curb and at least three (3) metres or 9.8424 feet away from a Fire Hydrant.

The City of Toronto ensured that motorcycles, motor scooters and mopeds were exempt from the by-laws and the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (for the purposes of parking within the City of Toronto).

Motor Scooter – Maximum Speed – 70 kms/hr or less

Moped – Does not attain a speed greater than 50 kms/hr

In order to operate a Motor Scooter or Moped, the driver has to be at least sixteen (16) years of age and have an “M” License with an “L” condition.

Motor Scooters and Mopeds are prohibited from travelling on controlled access highways, including the 400 series Highways.

The Definition of a Motor Scooter (also known as a limited-speed motorcycle) can be found in Regulation 340/94 under the Highway Traffic Act.  Regulation 340/94 is also known as the “Driver’s Licences” regulation of the Highway Traffic Act.

Vehicles that can operate on the road, are as follows:

  • Limited-Speed Motorcycles (includes motor scooters and mopeds)
  • Motor-Assisted Bicycles
  • Motor Tricycles
  • Bicycles
  • Power-Assisted/Electric Bicycles

Vehicles that cannot operate on the road, are as follows:

  • Pocket Bikes
  • Electric and Motorized Scooters (known as “Go-peds”)

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, which is applied in this manner:

Victim Fine Surcharges:
Effective January 1, 1995, a Victim Fine Surcharge is applied to all Provincial Offence Act Offences fines, with the exception of parking tickets. This Fine Surcharge generates millions upon millions of dollars for the Province of Ontario.

This surcharge is applied against set fines, where convictions have been registered (Part I or Part III of the Act) – see section 60 of the Provincial Offences Act.

This surcharge is 20% of the imposed fine (ie. if the fine is $100.00 then the surcharge will be $20.00). It remains 20% up to a $1000.00. Any fine over $1000.00 will have a surcharge of 25%.

The victim fine surcharge can be found within the Provincial Offences Act (Ontario Regulation 161/00). The Victim Fine Surcharge ranges from $10 (for set fines between $0-$50) up to $125 (for set fines between $501 to $1000) and a surcharge of 25% of any fine imposed over $1000.00:

Fine Range Surcharge:

$0 – 50 =$ 10

$51 – 75 =$ 15

$76 – 100 = $ 20

$101 – 150 = $ 25

$151 – 200 = $ 35

$201 – 250 = $ 50

$251 – 300 = $ 60

$301 – 350 = $ 75

$351 – 400 = $ 85

$401 – 450 = $ 95

$451 – 500 = $ 110

$501 – 1000 = $ 125

$ 1000.00 and over – Surcharge is 25% of the actual fine

On June 11, 1996 the Victims’ Bill of Rights, 1995 was proclaimed as law. This Bill has been using revenue, since January 1, 1995 from the Victim Fine Surcharge to fund the Victim Justice Fund which supports services/programs such as the Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral Services, SupportLink, Victim Support Line and Victim/Witness Assistance Programs.

Here are some 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):

OffenceH.T.A SectionSet CourtVictimTotal
Bicycle*FineFeeFine
Careless Driving130$260.00$5.00$60.00$325.00
Red Light – Fail to Stop144 (18)$150.00$5.00$25.00$180.00
Disobey Stop Sign – Fail to Stop136 (1) (a)*$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Improper Lighting 62 (17)*$20.00$5.00$10.00$35.00
Improper Brakes64 (3)*$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
No Bell or Defective Bell75 (5)$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Failure to Wear Proper Helmet104 (2.1)*$60.00$5.00$20.00$85.00
Failure to Yield to Pedestrian140 (1) (a)$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Drive Wrong Way – One Way Traffic153$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Bicycle -Fail to Turn Out to Right when Overtaken148 (6)*$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Cyclist -Ride in or along Crosswalk144 (29)*$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Cyclist – Fail to Stop to Identify Self 218 (2)*$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
Ride two (2) on a Bicycle178 (2)*$85.00$5.00$20.00$110.00
* specific to the operation of bicycles and to bicyclists

Highway Traffic ActSection 218 (1) Cyclist to Identify Self A police officer, who pulls over a cyclist, whom he/she believes has contravened the Highway Traffic Act or a section of the Municipal Act, has the right to ask the cyclist to identify themselves. All the cyclist must do, is to provide their name and address. No affirmative obligation exists for a bicycle rider to carry identity documentation. The bicycle rider meets his/her obligation under this section of the Highway Traffic Act, by simply providing their correct name and correct address. If the police officer wants to generate a ticket, it should contain the same name and address provided to him or her, by the bicycle rider. Section 218 (2) states:

Cyclist to Identify Self

218. (1) A police officer who finds any person contravening this Act or any municipal by-law regulating traffic while in charge of a bicycle may require that person to stop and to provide identification of himself or herself.

(2) Every person who is required to stop, by a police officer acting under subsection (1), shall stop and identify himself or herself to the police officer.

(3) For the purposes of this section, giving one’s correct name and address is sufficient identification.

(4) A police officer may arrest without warrant any person who does not comply with subsection (2).

A case decided in the Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa, Ontario on October 3, 2007 by Justice D. J. Power deals with section 218 (4) and Section 24 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in a case called Regina versus Daniel Robert Cassidy. Justice Power found that there were no valid grounds for the police officer, pursuant to subsection 4 of section 218 of the Highway Traffic Act to arrest Mr. Cassidy, since Mr. Cassidy had already provided his name, residential address and date to the police officer.

Ontario Regulation 630Vehicles on Controlled-Access Highways – speaks to bicycles, motor assisted bicycles and certain motorcycles that are not permitted on specific highways in Ontario.

See the number of bicycle accidents in Toronto in 2008 (including the worst nine (9) intersections for accidents)

Bill 126, Road Safety Act, 2009 (Royal Assent received on April 23, 2009) provides some new sections/definitions to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act regarding bicycles, power-assisted bicycles:

The definition of bicycle now includes “power-assisted bicycles”. You must now be a minimum of sixteen (16) years old to drive a power or motor-assisted bicycle. You must now have the proper lights, reflectors and lamps while operating a power-assisted bicycle and at the same time, must be wearing a bicycle or motorcycle helmet. See paper from the Legislative Library which asks the question “When do Ontario Acts & Regulations come into force”?

Ontario License required for limited-speed motorcycle (motor scooter) and Moped drivers (motor-assisted bicycle) – see information.

What is the definition of a limited-speed motorcycle (LSM) (motor scooter/moped/motor-assisted bicycle)? see descriptions.

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

Update: May 23, 2009Should cyclists have to pay for their use of the streets?

Update: June 22, 2009 – E-Bikes – if you lost your licence due to a Criminal Code infraction such as impaired driving, you are not allowed to ride an E-Bike. If you are caught riding one, with a suspended licence, you will be ticketed with “Driving while Disqualified” charges. See story

Update: August 8, 2009 – 15 year old cyclist riding on sidewalk collides with 56 year old pedestrian resulting in pedestrian’s death.

Update: September 14, 2009 – Sept.14/09 – Should Toronto’s City Council mandate helmet usage for cyclists?

Update: September 28, 2009 – 86-year-old Alliston resident killed while riding her scooter.

Update: October 2, 2009 – Ontario introduces new e-Bike safety rules.

Update: November 29, 2009 – Toronto cyclists want all traffic to stay out of bicycle lanes and want to see penalties increased.

Update: April 18, 2010 – Bikes over Motor Vehicles

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

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