Safer Roads and Communities Act, 2024 – Establishing Regulation Making Authority to Redefine E-bikes

ERO number
019-8461
Notice type
Act
Act
Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990
Posted by
Ministry of Transportation
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
May 16, 2024 - June 30, 2024 (45 days) Open
Last updated

This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
June 30, 2024

Proposal summary

The Ministry of Transportation is soliciting public comment on proposed legislative and regulatory changes aimed at enhancing road safety that would, if passed, protect lives, reduce injuries, and improve the quality of life for Ontarians. Environmental impacts are related to the proposal to create regulation making authority to redefine e-bikes.

Proposal details

Ontario is a world-class leader in road safety, and for 24 years in a row, has been ranked within the top five jurisdictions in North America with the lowest fatality rates per 10,000 licensed drivers. Despite this achievement, there is still room for improvement. Collisions cost Ontario approximately $12 to $15 billion in social costs every year and at least one person is killed on Ontario’s roads every day, with someone being seriously injured every six hours.

In response, the Ministry of Transportation is proposing a number of measures to create a safer environment for all road users by targeting bad actors and key causes of injuries and fatalities on Ontario’s roads.

The proposed Safer Roads and Communities Act, 2024 seeks to address several concerning road safety trends and data through 11 proposals organized into three key themes:

  • Combatting Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driving 
  • Strengthening Public Safety
  • Enhancing Alternative and Commercial Vehicle Safety

An extended summary of all of the proposed measures has been posted to the Regulatory Registry for public comment.

Below is additional information about proposed elements with potential environmental impacts.

Improve e-bike safety by redefining e-bikes into distinct classes with specific operator and vehicle safety requirements

Currently, the definition of a power-assisted bicycle (e-bike) is in the Highway Traffic Act. It permits e-bikes with a maximum weight of 120kg and includes a reference to Transport Canada’s since repealed federal definition. This proposal, if passed, would establish regulation making authority under the Highway Traffic Act to allow for e-bikes to be redefined into distinct classes to improve safety through specific operator and vehicle safety requirements.

A proposed redefinition of e-bikes within regulation may play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, protecting the natural environment, and promoting integrated transportation planning. The Ministry recognizes the potential for e-bikes to be used as a sustainable mode of transportation, facilitating connectivity between different first/last mile options while also recognizing the need to effectively respond to the continually evolving e-bike marketplace and ensuring safety for the present and future.

While this proposal marks a step toward redefinition, it's important to highlight that further consultations will occur once a future proposal, encompassing vehicle and operator safety requirements, is finalized.

Please note that the Ministry will continue to consider information received from previous Environmental Registry postings (019-3676, 019-2745 and 019-3534) regarding e-bikes. All prior feedback will be taken into consideration alongside any new feedback received.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Road Safety Program Development Office
Address

87 Sir William Hearst Avenue, Building A, Room 202
Toronto, ON
M3M 0B4
Canada

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