ONTARIO PROVINCIAL POLICE
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would like to remind the public about the responsibilities of those who ride E-bikes/scooters and bicycles in our communities.
Our roads are for the enjoyment and transportation of everyone, using a wide variety of approved powered and self-propelled vehicles. Under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA), a bicycle is a vehicle and cyclists are expected to follow the rules of the road. Motorists also have responsibilities in sharing the roadways.
The following outlines the rules and regulation about e-bike usage.
- Electric Bicycles ("e-bikes") can be operated on roads in Ontario. Since October 3, 2009, electric bikes (both those resembling conventional bicycles and those resembling motor scooters have been permanently allowed on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are currently permitted. They must follow the same rules of the road as set out in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) that currently applies to cyclists, with some exceptions.
In order to operate an e-bike:
- Operators must be 16 years of age or older;
- All operators must wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet at all times.
- No person who is the owner or is in possession or control of an e-bike shall permit a person who is under the age of 16 years to ride on, drive or operate the e-bike on a highway.
- An e-bike must not be ridden on, driven or operated unless it is in good working order.
Similar to bicycles and mopeds, power-assisted bicycles are prohibited from use on certain provincially controlled highways.
Any municipal by-law prohibiting bicycles from highways under their jurisdiction also apply to e-bikes.
Municipalities may also pass by-laws specific to e-bikes that prohibit them from municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths, bike trails, and bike lanes under their jurisdiction.
To operate an e-bike on Ontario roads, an e-bike must meet the following equipment requirements:
- Have a maximum unloaded weight of 120 kg (includes the weight of vehicle and battery).
- Must be equipped with at least two independent braking systems that applies force to each wheel and is capable of bringing the e-bike, while being operated at a speed of 30 km/h, to a full stop within 9 metres from the point at which the brakes were applied.
- Must have wheels with a minimum diameter and width of 350 mm and 35 mm respectively.
- Must have all electrical terminals completely insulated or covered
- The battery and motor, must be securely fastened to the bicycle to prevent them from moving while the bicycle is in motion.
- Has steering handlebars and is equipped with functioning pedals.
- Is designed to travel on not more than three wheels.
- Has an electric motor that has a power output rating of 500W or not faster than 32 km/hr.
- Bears a permanently affixed label by the manufacturer stating in both official languages that the vehicle conforms to the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle.
Huronia West OPP would like to remind all e-bike operators that they are responsible for following the rules of the road and educating themselves on the Ministry of Transportation regulations related to their vehicles.
The following outlines some rules and safety tips for cyclists on bicycles.
- As a cyclist, you must obey all traffic laws, have the same responsibilities as drivers and cannot carry passengers if your bicycle is only meant for one person.
- You can ride on most roads, bicycle lanes and cycling routes, multi-use trails and paths.
- You cannot ride on controlled access highways, such as Ontario's 400-series highways, within a pedestrian crossover to cross the street, within a crosswalk at any intersection or location with traffic signals, on sidewalks.
- Children under 10 can ride on the sidewalk until they develop the skills to ride on the road with traffic.
- If you want to cross a road inside a pedestrian crossover or crosswalk, you must walk your bike to the other side.
- Ride in a straight line on the right-hand side of the road at least one metre from the curb or from parked cars, where practical.
- When being passed, stay as close to the right side of the road as you can. You are allowed to use any part of the lane for safety reasons such as avoiding obstacles in your lane.
- You do not need to stay to the right when: preparing to turn left, passing another vehicle, you are going faster than other vehicles, the lane is too narrow to share.
- Cyclists must obey bicycle traffic signals where they are installed and regular traffic signals otherwise. If both a bicycle traffic signal and regular traffic signal apply to the same lane, cyclists must obey the bicycle signal.
Wearing a helmet can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death if you fall or collide with a car, pedestrian or other cyclists. A bicycle helmet is strongly recommended but not legally required if you are 18 or over.
The best helmet is one that: fits properly, is worn correctly, has been manufactured to meet strict safety standards. By law, cyclists under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet. For children age 16 and under, a parent or guardian must make sure they wear a helmet. Children are required to wear an approved bicycle helmet when riding in a child carrier or a bicycle trailer.
Other equipment required by law: bell or horn, lights and reflectors, a white light mounted on front of your bike, a red light or reflector on the back at night, reflective tape: white reflective tape on the front forks & red reflective tape on the rear forks.
When passing a cyclist, drivers must maintain a minimum distance of one metre between their vehicle and the cyclist, where it is practical to do so. Cyclists are not required to leave a one metre space, however they must still obey all the rules of the road. If you are being overtaken by a driver when riding, turn out to the right to allow the vehicle to pass.
To review Ontario's cycling laws, visit: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/bicycle-safety.shtml
The OPP expects cyclists and motor vehicle drivers to operate and share the road safely, respecting all laws, specifically the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Those who don't can be charged with moving violations under the HTA. The OPP urges everyone to respect all road users and make safety their top priority.