Pocket Bikes, Go-Peds - Are they Legal?
In Canada, all vehicles and transportation devices must be reviewed under both provincial and federal laws for safety.Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
The provincial government sets standards regarding lights, braking, and seat belts, and also defines a "motor vehicle." The Highway Traffic Act Regulations
do not apply to private property, so vehicles or transportation devices failing Highway Traffic Act
safety standards may be used on private property.Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MSVA)
The federal government sets standards for 17-digit VINs, warning labels, and 400 series highway. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act
defines vehicles for on-read use.
Moped (Motor Assisted Bicycle)
A moped looks like a bicycle but has an attached electric or gas motor less than 50 cubic centimeters. It has a maximum speed of
50 km/hr. A moped can be operated on roads in Ontario if the driver:
- Holds a valid G or M licence
- Wears a motorcycle helmet
- Insures and registers the vehicle
- Does not allow passengers
- Ensures the vehicle meets MVSA safety standards
- Stays off certain highways such as the 400 series
- Noped (Limited Speed Motorcycle)
A noped looks very similar to a moped, but does not have pedals. It has a maximum speed of 70 km/hr. A noped can be operated as a motorcycle in Ontario if the driver:
- Holds a valid M1, M2, or M licence
- Insures, registers, and plates the vehicle
- Wears a motorcycle helmet
- Stays off certain highway such as the 400 series
An electric bicycle looks like a bicycle with pedals and handlebars and an electric motor. It has a maximum speed of 32 km/hr. It cannot be operated on roads because it is considered a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act
but fails safety standards for on-road vehicles.
Bicycle include tricycles and unicycles, but not a motor assisted bicycle (moped). Bicycles can be operated on roads in Ontario if the operator:
- Wears a bicycle helmet if under the age of 18 years
- Operates on the right edge of the road and obeys all traffic laws
- Stays off the 400-series highways
- Go-Ped (Electric Scooter)
A go-ped looks like a scooter with an electric motor. It cannot be operated on roads in Ontario because it is defined under the Highway Traffic Act
as a motor vehicle but fails Highway Traffic Act
safety standards for on-road use. Check local bylaws for use on sidewalks and bicycle paths.
A pocket bicycle looks very similar to a motorcycle, but is much smaller. It has a gas-powered 2-stroke and 4-stroke engine. It cannot
be operated on Ontario roads because it is meant for closed-circuit use only and is considered a restricted use motorcycle. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act
requires VINs, reflectors, and warning labels staring that the vehicle can be used off road only and is not intended for use on public roads.
All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)
An ATV looks like a rugged golf cart with three or four wheels, and is gas powered. It cannot be operated on Ontario roads because it is considered a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act
but fails safety standards for on-road use. Operators of All Terrain Vehicles must:
- Have a valid trail permit, plate, and insurance
- Wear a motorcycle helmet
- Not allow children under the age of 12 years to drive an ATV except on land occupied by the vehicle owner or under close supervision of an adult
- Not allow passengers
Other ATV facts:
- ATVs can be driven on private property with prior consent of the property owner
- ATVs can be driven on designated trails. There are no legally designated trails in the City of Greater Sudbury. ATVs cannot be driven on public roads or road allowances unless the municipality has passed a consenting bylaw. To date, the City of Greater Sudbury has not passed such a bylaw.
Low Speed Vehicle
A low speed vehicle is powered by an electric motor and is designed to travel on four wheels. Maximum speed of 32 - 40 km/hr. It cannot be operated on roads in Ontario because it is defined as a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act
but fails safety standards for on-road use.
Motorized Wheelchair/Medical Scooter
A motorized wheelchair/medical scooter is considered similar to pedestrian travel, and does not require registration, plates, licence, or insurance. A person using a wheelchair or medical scooter should:
- Travel like a pedestrian, using the sidewalk or, when not available, the left shoulder of the roadway to face oncoming traffic.
A human transporter looks like a very small chariot with a pogo-like handle and two large wheels on either side of the standing platform, and is electric powered. It cannot be operated on Ontario roads because it is considered a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act
, but does not meet on-road safety standards. Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act
, it is considered a device for pedestrian environments. Check local bylaws for use on bicycle paths and sidewalks.
Links of Interest