Treat an e-bike like a motorcycle, you’ll get penalized like a motorcycle


(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Recently an individual posted on one of the local Facebook pages regarding receiving a ticket from North Island Traffic Services while operating their e-bike in Campbell River.

RCMP spokesperson Const. Maury Tyre says in a weekly RCMP report that there is much confusion regarding the use of e-bikes and their place in legal operation and recent case law has shaped the way police may deal with e-bike operators.

Officially, e-bikes do not require a license or insurance if they are pedal assisted, are under a certain wattage and cannot operate beyond a 33km/hr threshold. However, this means they must be treated as bicycles.

Where riders of these e-bikes are getting into an issue is how the E-bikes are being used. Again, the use of these E-Bikes and E-scooters must be equivalent to that of a bicycle, meaning:

  • Pedals must be attached during operation (The definition of the accepted vehicle is PEDAL-ASSISTED after all);
  • Cyclists are to use the three feet of rideable surface at the side of the roadway (Not riding down the middle of the road for the entirety of your journey-you can take a lane if you are turning at an intersection)
  • No doubling (for most of these E-bikes, there is absolutely no way to access the pedals to assist your engine if you are doubling another person)

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