Ontario unveils new safety rules for e-bikes

Ontario unveils new safety rules for e-bikes


Ontario is bringing in some new safety requirements for electric bikes.

E-bikes, which can reach a speed of 32 kilometres per hour, are allowed to share the road with cars, pedestrians and other traffic throughout the province.

But some new requirements — taking effect Saturday — are being introduced to keep riders safe.

The new rules limit the maximum weight of an e-bike to 120 kilograms, require a maximum braking distance of nine metres and prohibit any modifications to the bike’s motor that would create speeds greater than 32 kilometres per hour.

Also, riders must be at least 16 years of age, wear approved bicycle or motorcycle helmets and follow the same traffic laws as bicyclists.

Municipalities will be able to decide where e-bikes may be used on their streets, bike lanes and trails.

The bikes are considered a green travel option since riders can pedal them like a regular bicycle or switch over to the electric motor.

Jim Bradley, Ontario’s transportation minister, says e-bikes are “affordable, green and easy to use.”

“The McGuinty government is pleased to welcome the e-bike to Ontario’s transportation mix,” said Bradley.

E-bikes will not be permitted on 400-series highways, expressways or other areas where bicycles are not allowed.

Riding an e-bike under the age of 16 or riding an e-bike without an approved helmet carries fines ranging from $60 to $500. For all other traffic offences, e-bike riders will be subject to the same penalties as cyclists.