On March 9, 11, and 23rd The provincial legislature will be having public hearings about proposed changes to the Highway Traffic Act, including the definition of “E-Bikes” or “power-assisted bicycles” (you can read some more details in this BikingToronto post).
The Toronto Cyclists Union has released their position on the proposed definition of E-Bikes (which seems to include both bicycles with a small electrical assist as well as motor-scooter style bikes with removable pedals – like the accompanying photo):
The Toronto Cyclists Union believes that e-bikes/bicycles should be nothing other than traditional style bicycles, primarily powered by pedalling, that have minimal power assist – not capable of exceeding 20kms/hr, and simply available to boost the cyclists ability to get up hills and keep the cyclist moving when they need a short break on longer distance rides.
Any electric ‘bike’ that resembles a scooter should be considered an e-scooter and be subject to the rules that apply to that type of vehicle.
The Toronto Cyclists Union strongly recommends the following:
- That support, encouragement and resources for the implementation of additional cycling infrastructure across Ontario accompany any e-bike promotion initiative pursued by the MTO
- That the MTO do more to promote traditional cycling as an active form of transportation in tandem with, and perhaps even as a priority over, e-bikes
- That both the Driver education training guidelines, and Driver’s License testing be updated to include much more content (tbd) regarding how cyclists use the roadways, and the need/requirement to share the road.
Read more at the Toronto Cyclists Union website.