Potential legal changes in BC Canada

Kickstart70

New Member
Jul 16, 2011
25
0
0
Quesnel, BC, Canada
After a recent court case, the legality of motorized bicycles appears to have a path forward (nope, it's not legal yet). I sent the following email to the Minister of Transportation and my government representative. The court case link is at the bottom and it's worth reading.

Dear Ms. Polak,

I am seeking clarity to certain provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act, specifically those to do with a "motor assisted cycle" following Judicial Justic H. W. Gordon's ruling in the R v. Ryan case.

Specifically, gas-powered bicycles (those bicycles which have a gas-powered motor added on or built-in at the factory) of less than 49cc are in a grey area with respect to the law. The case ruling found that while it is technically against the law, this is due to poor wording and not intention.

Myself, and other motor-assisted bicycle enthusiasts, would like the Act amended to clarify the intent of the law and treat powered bicycles the same regardless of the (safe) method of propulsion. As it currently stands, even a bicycle powered by compressed air would be in this grey area that is made by specifying only electric-assisted bicycles fall within these provisions.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I have CC'd my local MLA and hope to hear back from her as well. Unfortunately, I could not use her official MLA email address, as it's unavailable on the government website so soon after the election.

For reference: http://canlii.ca/t/fql0c

Regards,

Greg Webster
 

Black_Moons

New Member
Oct 25, 2010
207
2
0
Canada, Bc
Interesting. I would definitely like to help support change in this law.

As I understand it now, It has been left to ICBC to determine what is and is not a 'motor assisted bicycle'..

Yes, A non elected, For profit monopoly insurance corporation that if left up to the voters of BC would be disbanded immediately for gross overcharging of the public, is writing our road laws on what is and is not allowed to be used without paying them.

A serious conflict of interest, and it is no wonder that immediately after they where given this power, gas motorized bicycles where effectively outlawed by them as they where an effective transport while the 350W motors just burn out in the hillier parts of Canada (Also known as: All of BC), with the average electric kit costing $2000 compared to the typical gasoline kit price of $200

Who do you vote for to get a corporation to change your provinces laws I wonder?

I also find it disgraceful the government would consider ICBC a cash cow, Considering its effectively a flat tax that hits the poor the hardest and makes day to day life and working that much more expensive. There is not much option besides to drive, many many jobs REQUIRE you to have a car/truck.

Many can not afford $100 insurance+gas+maintenance a month for a car just to make the 6 trips a month for food and other essentials, costing about $300 month. Costs less then $10 per month to do the same on a motorized bicycle

For those wondering, its $110 per month for MANDATORY car insurance in BC with an absolutely clean driving record. This does not cover fire, theft, flood, collision or windshields. Its $50 per month in the next province over for mandatory insurance.

And now they outlaw the last effective mode of transportation for the poor, the 49CC motorized bicycle. Of course, the rich people making the laws don't mind, They can afford insurance and gasoline for there 20MPG cars.

In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges - Anatole France
 

fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
6,661
2,591
113
British Columbia Canada
Part of the problem is that when the government was rewriting the laws motor bike to include the previously illegal electric bikes they consulted with I.C.B.C., Ford motors who at the time were building the Think electric bike and different spandex bike clubs.

As well they tested both motorized bikes and the electric bikes at a lab in Quebec. As those of us that live in B.C. know the green aspect and I.C.B.C. figuring that gas powered bicycles were faster and therefor likely to cost them money as well as Ford thinking of how much money they were going to make selling electric bikes and the spandex crowd worrying about those of us who would be 'cheating' by using them we have what we have now.

Originally the call was for 250w and you had to pedal at the same time or the motor would not work. Same as Europe and Oz and New Zealand.
Smarter mind nixed it because they wanted to get we old folks out on bikes and out of our cars and younger people used to the idea so they said 500w and 32km was legal.

I'm afraid what you are trying to over turn is a Federal Government law and not a provincial law but I certainly would help any way I can to get that done.

I may still have the web site from the government that has all the information.

Steve.
 

Black_Moons

New Member
Oct 25, 2010
207
2
0
Canada, Bc
It used to be legal in BC, Now the law 'refers you' to ICBC who has made it illegal. Its province law. Its not even that, its province law declaring that a for profit company gets to decide the law. All we need to do is get the province to revert to deciding what is illegal and legal, instead of passing that classification off to a for profit company.
 

mew905

New Member
Sep 24, 2012
647
3
0
Moose Jaw
I dont know what's going on there but I would love for BC to allow motorized bicycles, I want to do a cross-canada tour and I cant even get into alberta. Saskatchewan only has an 80cc limit, you're right its only a provincial law. Saskatchewan I'm bound by bicycle laws (no license, no helmet, no registration, follow car rules when on the road [including speed limit, I can do 110kph on my bicycle on the highway if I chose and the bike was capable], and [even though its illegal] limited pedal-only speeds on the sidewalk)
 

fasteddy

Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2009
6,661
2,591
113
British Columbia Canada
Here is the definition of a motor assisted bicycle from the Transportation Canada website.
This applies to all of Canada unfortunately. If your local province enforces it or not is up to them.



What does Transport Canada consider a power assisted-bicycle?

We consider a power assisted bicycle to be an electric bicycle propelled by either a combination of muscular power and a motor, or by the motor alone. Section 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) describes a power assisted bicycle as follows:

has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals,
is designed to travel on not more than three wheels touching with the ground,
is capable of being propelled by muscular power,
has one or more electric motors which have, singly or in combination, the following characteristics:
1. it has a total continuous power output rating, measured at the shaft of each motor, of 500 W or less,
2. if it is engaged by the use of muscular power, power assistance immediately ceases when the muscular power ceases,
3. if it is engaged by the use of an accelerator controller, power assistance immediately ceases when the brakes are applied, and
4. it is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground,
bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer and appears in a conspicuous location stating, in both official languages, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in subsection 2(1) of the MVSA, and has one of the following safety features:
1. an enabling mechanism to turn the electric motor on and off that is separate from the accelerator controller and fitted in such a manner that it is operable by the driver, or
2. a mechanism that prevents the motor from being engaged before the bicycle attains a speed of 3 km/h

A scooter-style electric bicycle designed with a motor exceeding 500W of continuous power rating or that can operate at speeds greater than 32 km/h IS NOT a power-assisted bicycle and must meet importation requirements for the vehicle’s original class to which it belongs (ex: restricted-use motorcycle or limited-speed motorcycle or scooter).