B.C. proposes changes that may allow e-scooters, electric unicycles, segways on roads
Published Wednesday, October 9, 2019 9:41AM PDT
A local startup says it's seeing a growing demand for e-scooters in Vancouver.
VANCOUVER - B.C.'s government is considering changing the rules of the road to make way for more diverse modes of transportation.
Right now, anything that isn't defined by the Motor Vehicle Act as a vehicle, cycle or pedestrian isn't allowed on highways or sidewalks. But with new modes of transportation emerging – like e-scooters, electric unicycles, electric skateboards or segways – those rules need to shift, the government says.
"We know people are changing the way they travel, and it's important that our regulations match these changes," said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure in a news release.
"There are lots of new ways to travel and we need to make sure our laws reflect the needs of our communities today."
If the proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act, which were introduced on Monday pass, they would enable communities to test out pilot projects with these alternative transportation modes. It would also be up to B.C. municipalities to decide where these transportation modes are allowed.
However in Vancouver right now, riding an e-scooter or electric skateboard could result in a $598 ticket for operating a vehicle without insurance.
The City of Vancouver has also banned the use of motorized hoverboards, unicycles, scooters, skateboards and segways on the seawall and park paths "to reserve the space for active modes such as walking and cycling," according to a December 2017 memo, which the city said was still accurate in June of this year.
In practice, however, Vancouver police say tickets aren't written very often and are up to an officer's discretion.
The province says its proposed amendments also encourages active transportation modes as part of its Active Transportation Strategy.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's David Molko