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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Criminal license suspension? No eBike for you

It's fairly simple. People whose driver's license has been revoked under the federal Criminal Code are not permitted to operate eBikes.

If your license has been revoked as a penalty after conviction under the Canadian Criminal Code (for impaired driving, manslaughter, or other criminal offence) you may not legally operate any means of transportation that is not "muscular powered."

Legally, you do not need a driver's license to operate an eBike in Ontario. Also, if your license has been suspended or revoked under the provincial Highway Traffic Act or by the Ministry of Transportation (for not paying parking tickets, etc.), you may still legally operate an eBike or bicycle.

This newspaper story should help explain.

Don't forget, you can still be charged with impaired driving if you operate a bicycle or eBike 'under the influence.'

Prohibited individuals a 'concern'

One of the "safety concerns" stated by the MTO in their recent call for public comments on eBikes mentions the possibility that someone prohibited from driving a car might illegally ride an eBike. That is true.

Does anyone remember the bank robbers who used bicycles as a getaway vehicle? No one (no one intelligent, anyway) has ever suggested banning bicycles because thieves might use them, despite their being a lot of evidence that bank robbers in Canada and the U.S. use bicycles. There is not much evidence of a bank robber ever using a eBike, outside Asia.

Preventing people from the use of modern urban conveniences is hardly an appropriate response to fears that a few prohibited individuals might use them illegally.

Punish the offenders properly and effectively, and apply a deterrent directly to the individual, not to the rest of society.

1 comment:

James Wood said...

Your analysis of the "Great Debate" currently going on with regard to the form which permanent power-assisted bicycle regulations will take is the most authoritative and comprehensive that I have seen to date. I have been following this affair very closely, in fact since before the inception of the pilot program, the purpose of which was ostensibly to elicit data from the public at large and users of power-assisted bicyles of all kinds. I view the "results" promulgated so far by the MTO with a great deal of chagrine because of the lack of substance and verifiable data relevant to the subject matter. The material released after the June 16 open meeting seems to reflect only the opinions of vocal opponents of any sharing whatsoever of that portion of the public roads which have been constructed at all taxpayers expense in order to facilitate safer travel for slower moving two wheeled vehicles. The selective presentation of neagative materials which cannot be regarded as factual has rendered the Pilot Project to be a value-less waste of taxpayer money. In my opinion not enough data was obtained to justify any action other than the continuation of the status quo, being harmonization with the Federal regulations, the stand taken by the overwhelming majority of Canadian provinces. If the purpose of the project was genuinely to obtain such data, the project should be extended using the current status quo for as much time is required to come to verifiable conclusions, not preconceived notions, hearsay, and gross technical inaccuracies. Police departments throughout the Province should be advised that such a project is underway, which was not done in the present instance, and they should be given guidelines as to what specific data would be helpful to arrive at verifiable conclusions regarding the use and safety of all types of power-assisted bicycles. To do less would be exremely unjust and discrimate against one group of citizen taxpayers to the benefit of a vocal and selfish few.