News Releases

Impaired on an E-Bike

July 23, 2018

On July 19th 2018 North Bay Police conducted a traffic stop involving an E-Bike being operated on a street in North Bay. The driver was determined to be impaired by the consumption of alcohol.

A 43 year old man from North Bay has been charged with:

One count of drive motor vehicle while impaired

One count of drive motor vehicle with over 80 mgs of alcohol

North Bay Police advise e-bikers to know and respect the rules of the road. An e-bike is a green and affordable mode of transportation but what should you know as an e-biker?

What you do not need;

  • Licence
  • Insurance
  • Registration

What you do need;

  • E-bikers must follow the rules of the road as bicyclists (see below)
  • E-bikers must be 16 years of age or older (Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act)
  • All e-bikers must wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet (Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act - although it is recommended that all bicyclists wear helmets, everyone under 18 on a bicycle must wear a helmet.)
  • Under the Criminal Code of Canada an e-bike is a motor vehicle so all driving related offences have to be followed such as; Impair by alcohol OR a drug / dangerous driving / driving disqualified.

Operators of e-bikes — both the conventional-looking bicycle-style with electric assist and the scooter style — must, like bicyclists, ride on the road.

Removing pedals makes e-bike illegal

Removing the pedals on an e-bike makes it an illegal motor vehicle because it does not conform to the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario definition of a power-assisted bicycle.

Rules of the road.

Because E-bikes are considered vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act they, like bicyclists, must:

•ride on the right side of the road;

•respect the direction of one-way streets;

•come to a complete stop at a stop sign or at a red light;

•signal when turning and stopping;

•have a working horn or bell; and

•have a white front light and a red rear light when driving at night.

Sample of fines for offences under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario

Offence Fine

Improper lighting$ 35.00

Improper brakes$ 110.00

No or defective bell/horn$ 110.00

Fail to wear proper helmet (e-bike)$ 110.00

Fail to wear proper helmet (bicycle)$ 80.00

Disobey stop sign, fail to stop $ 110.00

Red light – fail to stop $ 320.00

Fail to yield to pedestrian $ 175.00

Drive wrong way (one-way traffic)$ 110.00

Ride two on a bicycle / Ride two on an e-bike (if e-bike is not designed for passengers)$ 110.00

No riding on sidewalks, or bike paths in motor mode

In North Bay riding a bicycle or an e-bike on the sidewalk is banned by municipal bylaws. Riding a bicycle or an e-bike on the sidewalk is a $ 60.00 fine.

While sidewalks are reserved for pedestrians only, bike paths are reserved for pedestrians and those using muscular power (i.e. bike pedals) to ride their bicycles and e-bikes. Using an e-bike in motor mode on a bike path is prohibited.

Drivers Advised to Practice Defensive Driving Skills

No matter what you are driving it is summer and this means more traffic on our roads, including bicycles, e-bikes, motorcycles, RVs and construction vehicles. North Bay Police advise practising defensive driving skills from the start of your trip to the finish is everyone’s responsibility. Drive safe. Drive sober. Drive responsibly. Chief Shawn Devine – North Bay Police Service