Automotive

Should e-bikes be allowed on the road without a license?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 25th, 2021 4:45 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 21, 2010
989 posts
395 upvotes
toronto

Should e-bikes be allowed on the road without a license?

been seeing electric motorcycles pop up on facebook marketplace which look like the real engine ones,,
advertising no licence need or insurance, just over 16 years old an an helmet
just thinking officer pulls you over, insurance and registration and licence sir,,,sorry its an e motorcyle,,so im just guessing you just pay the fine...no points as theres no licence..
just thinking new comber who just turned 16 rides on the road without any testing of signs etc, rules of the road

thoughts on should a bike be allowed on roads without the person being tested
39 replies
Deal Fanatic
Jun 20, 2020
7252 posts
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Toronto
your best bet wrote: been seeing electric motorcycles pop up on facebook marketplace which look like the real engine ones,,
These electric motorcycles (e-bikes) must have working pedals

E-bikes in Ontario must have:
  • steering handlebars
  • working pedals
  • an electric motor not exceeding 500 Watts
  • a maximum speed of 32 km/h
  • a maximum weight of 120 kg
  • a permanent label from the manufacturer in both English and French stating that your e-bike conforms to the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle
your best bet wrote: advertising no licence need or insurance, just over 16 years old an an helmet
You don't need a driver's licence, vehicle permit or licence plate to ride an e-bike, but you do need to:
  • be 16 or older
  • wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet
  • keep your e-bike in good working order

You also need to follow the same rules of the road as regular cyclists.

Cycling Skills: Ontario's Guide to Safe Cycling
Deal Addict
Nov 11, 2013
1061 posts
1338 upvotes
Calgary
More regulation is definitely needed. These riders are just zipping in and out of traffic, on sidewalks and roadways.

Registration and insurance should be mandatory.
Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2011
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Mississauga
Ebikes: the preferred ride of choice for convicted impaired drivers everywhere!
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Oct 13, 2008
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Yeah ... I have an IDIOT on our street that has an unplated gas-powered ATV always on the road ...

What is worse ... he puts his daughter on it (probably around 10 years old) on her own ... pathetic and irresponsible parents!

I reported it to the City Bylaw Dept but they said .. "next time you see it .. call the police non-emergency line".
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Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2004
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They definitely need regulation.

The only good thing that I’ve seen so far (at the last for me) is that the ones that are all decked out and really look like motorcycles (same with the electric scooters) tend to follow the rules of the road better (stopping at lights, stopping at stop signs etc.) than ppl on actual bikes.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
1789 posts
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Barrie, ON
If you can't do the speed limit you should be on the shoulder like a bicycle. Everytime I see one of these I'm reminded of the scene in Dumb and Dumber, lol.
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Jan 27, 2004
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redblack wrote: More regulation is definitely needed. These riders are just zipping in and out of traffic, on sidewalks and roadways.

Registration and insurance should be mandatory.
Yes! Exactly...
These are essentially electric motorcycles.
They design them to look and feel like a real motorcycle/scooter. But they have an electric engine limited to max 32km/hr.
They have pedals that make them qualify as an electric bike... but its there to skirt the rules only. Its impractical to almost impossible to ride these with pedal power only.
Its also easy to remove the speed limiter. I’ve seen people accelerate these to 40-50km on flat roads and uphills.

I theorize that because look like actual motorbikes, people ride them around like an actual vehicle. They ride right in the middle of the lane despite being too slow to keep up.
But the bad part is... they arent a licensed car. So fly under the radar And the switch from pedestrian rules to , semi-bicycle behaviour, back to road car behaviour. Its erratic and can cause accidents.
E.g. e-bike is riding in traffic. Sees a jam. Darts into the side walk to avoid traffic. Then darts back into traffic full speed.

They should just ban e-bikes that look like motorcycles/moto scooters.

But the actual bicycle looking e-bikes with electric assist motors are fine & i would actually encourage them provided they ride them as courteous cyclist. They open up the world to cycling to a lot of people who otherwise wouldnt.
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Feb 20, 2015
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mxthor3 wrote: If you can't do the speed limit you should be on the shoulder like a bicycle. Everytime I see one of these I'm reminded of the scene in Dumb and Dumber, lol.
Actually, a bicycle has a right to the road as much as you do. You just have to move over. If any bike has some sort of motor, it shouldn't be on the sidewalk, but there is a clause for children to be able to ride their bike on the sidewalk.

As long as an E-bike follows the rules of the road and the governing rules, I don't see a problem. When they break the rules (run red lights/stop signs) and are on the sidewalk or where they shouldn't be, then we need to pull them over and seize their wheels.
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Gibsons wrote: Actually, a bicycle has a right to the road as much as you do. You just have to move over. If any bike has some sort of motor, it shouldn't be on the sidewalk, but there is a clause for children to be able to ride their bike on the sidewalk.

As long as an E-bike follows the rules of the road and the governing rules, I don't see a problem. When they break the rules (run red lights/stop signs) and are on the sidewalk or where they shouldn't be, then we need to pull them over and seize their wheels.
The issue is... your too slow to keep up with traffic so you should go on the side.
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Feb 20, 2015
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UrbanPoet wrote: The issue is... your too slow to keep up with traffic so you should go on the side.
Unfortunately, that's not the rule.

Right to the Road

Ontario bicyclists generally have the same rights, and same responsibilities, as drivers of motor vehicles.
Most of the laws that apply to bicycles are contained in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). However, municipal bylaws can also regulate the use of bicycles.
The HTA defines a bicycle as “bicycle includes a tricycle, a unicycle and a power-assisted bicycle but does not include a motor-assisted bicycle.” Therefore, a bicycle is considered a vehicle under Ontario law.
Cyclists have an absolute right to use public roads. When using the roads, a bicyclist is required to follow certain laws intended to ensure that bicyclists use reasonably caution and safe cycling practices.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
1789 posts
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Barrie, ON
Gibsons wrote: Unfortunately, that's not the rule.

Right to the Road

Ontario bicyclists generally have the same rights, and same responsibilities, as drivers of motor vehicles.
Most of the laws that apply to bicycles are contained in the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). However, municipal bylaws can also regulate the use of bicycles.
The HTA defines a bicycle as “bicycle includes a tricycle, a unicycle and a power-assisted bicycle but does not include a motor-assisted bicycle.” Therefore, a bicycle is considered a vehicle under Ontario law.
Cyclists have an absolute right to use public roads. When using the roads, a bicyclist is required to follow certain laws intended to ensure that bicyclists use reasonably caution and safe cycling practices.
The rule is if you can't keep up to the flow of traffic you move off to the side if possible.
HTA (147(1) does require bikes (and cars) that are travelling slower than the normal speed of traffic to travel in the right lane or the close to the right hand curb “where practicable”.
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mxthor3 wrote: The rule is if you can't keep up to the flow of traffic you move off to the side if possible.
I've never seen a bicycle ride in the middle of the lane, it's always to the side of the paved lane. Your semantics don't make the rule of "Bicycles have a right to the road" any less true.

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Gibsons wrote: I've never seen a bicycle ride in the middle of the lane, it's always to the side of the paved lane. Your semantics don't make the rule of "Bicycles have a right to the road" any less true.

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No one is doubting that. And neither did i. I didnt say it was a hard rule thats punishable by fines and jail sentences.

I said it is courteous. I am an avid cyclist and i drive too. Its just a nice thing to do. I mean i have the right to stay smack dab in the middle cruising @ 25km/hr... but thats not nice to other drivers, nor is it safe or practical. It can cause fights and accidents.

So yah... slower traffic should keep right.

Its etiquette. Some things are “rules” but rather implied.
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2015
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Gibsons wrote: I've never seen a bicycle ride in the middle of the lane, it's always to the side of the paved lane. Your semantics don't make the rule of "Bicycles have a right to the road" any less true.

Image
I simply pointed out your post was incomplete. Relax, no one is out to get you.
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Oct 26, 2008
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UrbanPoet wrote: No one is doubting that. And neither did i. I didnt say it was a hard rule thats punishable by fines and jail sentences.

I said it is courteous. I am an avid cyclist and i drive too. Its just a nice thing to do. I mean i have the right to stay smack dab in the middle cruising @ 25km/hr... but thats not nice to other drivers, nor is it safe or practical. It can cause fights and accidents.

So yah... slower traffic should keep right.

Its etiquette. Some things are “rules” but rather implied.
The intent of the update to the HTA was to recognize cyclists, not drivers, should be the ones able to determine what is safe (and practical).

So in many instances an experienced cyclist will take control of the lane when to a casual observer, or a following motorist, it is selfish or arrogant behaviour.

The cyclist, being possibly more alert and attentive to what hazards lie ahead than the typical car driver, may have seen something that might cause them to be squeezed into the curb, for example, if the driver behind overtook them at that moment. Or any number of other needless or risky hindrances to the cyclist's progress.

Would be a more harmonious world if all vehicle drivers were experienced cyclists too, but of course that is not realistic. But appropriate education of drivers certainly is. Not to overlook that cyclists should take up any opportunity they have of road skills training.
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macnut wrote: The intent of the update to the HTA was to recognize cyclists, not drivers, should be the ones able to determine what is safe (and practical).

So in many instances an experienced cyclist will take control of the lane when to a casual observer, or a following motorist, it is selfish or arrogant behaviour.

The cyclist, being possibly more alert and attentive to what hazards lie ahead than the typical car driver, may have seen something that might cause them to be squeezed into the curb, for example, if the driver behind overtook them at that moment. Or any number of other needless or risky hindrances to the cyclist's progress.

Would be a more harmonious world if all vehicle drivers were experienced cyclists too, but of course that is not realistic. But appropriate education of drivers certainly is. Not to overlook that cyclists should take up any opportunity they have of road skills training.
Oh i take over lanes too in those cases.
I would consider myself an advanced city cyclist. I used to bike around downtown all the time for work.
I still live near the downtown core. Did downtown for about 5 years until i started working further east.
riverdale/leslieville/beaches area is where i bike. Similar downtown vibes.
But i guess it helps i can power through to a 50km/hr sprint on flat ground.

Example is the construction on the gerrard street dvp bridge right now. People gonna try to squeeze you out... so i take over the lane and sprint across the bridge. Easy to do in a super light weight single speed with the skinniest tires hehehe
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May 31, 2008
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I think they should at least be licensed and plated, just like a motorcycle but a different class. It could even just be a written test, as long as it shows they understand the rules of the road and don't try to plead ignorance when they do something stupid later, like riding on the sidewalk or on a highway.

I think there should at least be a way to keep track/report those who don't follow the rules (by use of the plate), and if they make too many mistakes they lose their license and privilege to ride.

Some type of insurance should be mandatory as well so it at least covers serious injury or damage. Right now if an e-bike rider injures someone walking on a sidewalk for example, the claim would be made to his home insurance, if he even has, and if not you are SOL and will end up fighting in court for pennies. That's not right.

I've seen people on e-bikes do too many dumb things that there needs to be more accountability. Riding on sidewalks at full speed while zipping in between those walking with children or elderly walking their dogs. Blowing through stop signs and even redlights. Yes I know regular cyclists have been known to do the same, but with the added weight and faster speeds of an e-bike I think they present much more of a danger.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2010
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redblack wrote:

Registration and insurance should be mandatory.
Totally disagree. That's just creating government bureaucracy and money grab for greedy insurance companies. What's to stop this happening from regular bikes? This is just a bad idea.
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Aug 29, 2011
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hierophant wrote: Totally disagree. That's just creating government bureaucracy and money grab for greedy insurance companies. What's to stop this happening from regular bikes? This is just a bad idea.
Many of the e-bikes have significant heft to them, certainly much more than a typical bicycle. A pedestrian getting hit by a beefy e-bike is going to suffer serious, potentially life altering injury. Who's liable? Who pays?

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