As the days get warmer and the snow and ice disappear from our streets, we are seeing bicycles, E-bikes and E-scooters come out of hibernation. However, during this time of year we also see illegal gas-powered bicycles return to the road. Operating these illegal vehicles could result in serious fines and the seizure of the vehicle.
Electric power-assisted bicycles such as E-bikes and E-scooters must have a maximum speed of 32 km/h, a maximum weight of 120kg, and are required to be equipped with pedals. They can be operated on the right edge of roadways as close to the curb as possible and on trails in pedal mode only. They cannot be operated on highways. Operators must be at least 16 year of age and must wear a bicycle or motorcycle helmet while operating the vehicle.
Gas-powered bicycles are regular bicycles augmented with a gas engine, oftentimes small engines from a chainsaw or weed whacker are used. The Highway Traffic Act does not recognize bicycles augmented with gas-powered motors as legal motor vehicles. These types of vehicles cannot be operated on roads, sidewalks, highways, or trails in North Bay.
If you are operating a gas-powered bike on roads, trails, highways, or sidewalks in North Bay, you could be charged with:
- Operating a motor vehicle without insurance, which can result in a court appearance, and a fine ranging from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $25,000 on a first offense. Subsequent offenses could result in a fine ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $50,000.
- Operating a motor vehicle without a licence plate, which can result in a court appearance and a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
- Operating a motor vehicle without a permit, which can result in a court appearance and a maximum fine of up to $1,000.
In addition, charges for operating these illegal bikes will result in a police seizure of the vehicle.
The only place where it is legal to operate these vehicles in on private property with the consent of the property owner.
We hope everyone enjoys the warmer weather and North Bay’s many wonderful biking trails, but remember to do so safely and legally and never while operating an illegal gas-powered bicycle.