Durham Region Seeks Comments on Draft Electric Scooter By-law

By Liam McConnell

Posted on December 13, 2021 at 5:20 p.m.

Electric scooters may soon be able to transport residents on Durham’s main thoroughfares as the region considers new legislation to regulate their use.

The provincial government started the process to allow scooters on Ontario roads in November 2019 when it announced the 5-year electric scooter pilot project, which began in January 2020.

The project is designed to “help businesses grow and provide more choices for consumers and commuters,” according to a provincial press release.

Vijay Thanigasalam, Parliamentary Secretary to Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, said the pilot project will provide people “with a new, clean and environmentally friendly way to get from point A to point B in their communities.”

His boss, Transport Minister Caroline Mulroney, agreed. “Ontario’s Electric Scooter Pilot Project will help businesses grow, enrich local economies and give people more options for getting around safely.

The pilot project allowed municipalities to participate or not to participate. Toronto, for example. decided not to launch the program, citing safety concerns for older and disabled Torontonians. Mississauga is also in the process of determining how it will implement the law.

While it includes non-negotiable items, such as a minimum age of 16, a 25 km / h speed limit, and mandatory helmets among other requirements, the pilot has mostly put the onus on determining how the scooters will be. used on the back of local municipalities.

This, according to the province, is to allow them to customize the deployment to suit their needs, although they have put together a list of best practices to advise municipalities, such as parking and operating settings. (Parking in particular was a concern for Montreal, which banned scooters last year after many users failed to park them safely.)

The Durham Region draft regulation would limit scooter use on roads with a speed limit of 50 km / h or less and off the sidewalks in the region. Wherever cycling, rollerblading or skating is prohibited, the use of scooters would also be prohibited.

Cyclists will not be able to carry passengers or basket on the scooter. They will all need to be well lit and reflective and provide a horn. In addition, people who bypass pedestrians cannot move at a speed “significantly greater” than the speed of pedestrians.

Under the proposed regulations, any organization that violates the stated restriction may be fined under the Provincial Offenses Act.

Residents of Durham can provide comments on the settlement until February 11.

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