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Ontario Highway Traffic Act

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E-Bikes and the HTA
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:51 am 
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I was stopped by Niagara Regional Police yesterday while riding an E-Bike (scooter style).I was wearing an approved bicycle helmet,charged with "fail to wear proper helmet on power-assisted bicycle".Additionally three other HTA charges,no plates,no insurance.My charges stem from the fact that the removable pedals were not on the bike,(bike was awaiting parts).Any feedback on this matter would be most welcome.My E-Bike was towed and impounded for seven days at a cost of $50.00 per day plus the tow charge.The laws pertaining to these machines are very vague it seems.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:45 am 
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Location: Ontario
The laws are spread all over the place making them confusing and a little hard to research. The big issue in your case seems to be that your bike didn't have any pedals attached. They must have pedals and aren't supposed to be operated without them. Minus the pedals, you no longer qualify as a power assisted bicycle.

The Highway Traffic Act defines a power assisted bicycle as the following:
Quote:
(a) is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada),
(b) bears a label affixed by the manufacturer in compliance with the definition referred to in clause (a),
(c) has affixed to it pedals that are operable, and
(d) is capable of being propelled solely by muscular power


Here's the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act, section 2(1):
Quote:
“power-assisted bicycle” means a vehicle that:
(a) has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals,
(b) is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground,
(c) is capable of being propelled by muscular power,
(d) has one or more electric motors that have, singly or in combination, the following characteristics:
(i) it has a total continuous power output rating, measured at the shaft of each motor, of 500 W or less,
(ii) if it is engaged by the use of muscular power, power assistance immediately ceases when the muscular power ceases,
(iii) if it is engaged by the use of an accelerator controller, power assistance immediately ceases when the brakes are applied, and
(iv) it is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground,
(e) bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer and appears in a conspicuous location stating, in both official languages, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in this subsection, and
(f) has one of the following safety features,
(i) an enabling mechanism to turn the electric motor on and off that is separate from the accelerator controller and fitted in such a manner that it is operable by the driver, or
(ii) a mechanism that prevents the motor from being engaged before the bicycle attains a speed of 3 km/h


Power Assisted Bicycles are also covered under Ontario Regulation 369/09:
Quote:
Maximum weight
1. The unladen weight of a power-assisted bicycle must not be more than 120 kilograms. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 1.
Wheel width, diameter
2. (1) The wheels of a power-assisted bicycle must not be less than 35 millimetres wide. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 2 (1).
(2) The diameter of the wheels of a power-assisted bicycle must not be less than 350 millimetres. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 2 (2).
Battery and motor
3. (1) The battery and motor of a power-assisted bicycle must be securely fastened to the bicycle to prevent them from moving while the bicycle is in motion. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 3 (1).
(2) The motor of a power-assisted bicycle must disengage if pedalling ceases, the accelerator is released or the brakes are applied. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 3 (2).
Electric terminals
4. All electric terminals on a power-assisted bicycle must be completely insulated and covered. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 4.
Brakes
5. The brakes of a power-assisted bicycle must be capable of bringing the bicycle, while being operated at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour on a clean, paved and level surface, to a full stop within nine metres from the point at which the brakes were applied. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 5.
No modifications
6. A power-assisted bicycle must not be ridden on, driven or operated if it has been modified after its manufacture in any way that may result in increasing its power or its maximum speed beyond the limits set out in clause (d) of the definition of “power-assisted bicycle” in section 2 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada). O. Reg. 369/09, s. 6.
Good working order
7. A power-assisted bicycle must not be ridden on, driven or operated unless it is in good working order. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 7.


While it may seem a little trivial to be operating your bike without the pedals, the charges themselves are quite serious unfortunatley. Even on a first offence, no insurance carries a minimum fine of $5,000. I'd suggest scheduling a meeting with the prosecutor to explain your situation and see if you can work out some kind of deal. Bring proof that your bike is now fixed and up to spec with the pedals attached. I'd hope they'd be reasonable and cut you a break, hopefully dropping most of the charges in exchange for a guilty plea to one of the less serious charges. If not you may want to consider hiring a paralegal to represent you.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:38 am 
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AlienAlien117 wrote:
My E-Bike was towed and impounded for seven days


What for?

_________________
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NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:04 am
Posts: 8
Stanton wrote:
The laws are spread all over the place making them confusing and a little hard to research. The big issue in your case seems to be that your bike didn't have any pedals attached. They must have pedals and aren't supposed to be operated without them. Minus the pedals, you no longer qualify as a power assisted bicycle.

The Highway Traffic Act defines a power assisted bicycle as the following:
Quote:
(a) is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada),
(b) bears a label affixed by the manufacturer in compliance with the definition referred to in clause (a),
(c) has affixed to it pedals that are operable, and
(d) is capable of being propelled solely by muscular power


Here's the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act, section 2(1):
Quote:
“power-assisted bicycle” means a vehicle that:
(a) has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals,
(b) is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground,
(c) is capable of being propelled by muscular power,
(d) has one or more electric motors that have, singly or in combination, the following characteristics:
(i) it has a total continuous power output rating, measured at the shaft of each motor, of 500 W or less,
(ii) if it is engaged by the use of muscular power, power assistance immediately ceases when the muscular power ceases,
(iii) if it is engaged by the use of an accelerator controller, power assistance immediately ceases when the brakes are applied, and
(iv) it is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground,
(e) bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer and appears in a conspicuous location stating, in both official languages, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle as defined in this subsection, and
(f) has one of the following safety features,
(i) an enabling mechanism to turn the electric motor on and off that is separate from the accelerator controller and fitted in such a manner that it is operable by the driver, or
(ii) a mechanism that prevents the motor from being engaged before the bicycle attains a speed of 3 km/h


Power Assisted Bicycles are also covered under Ontario Regulation 369/09:
Quote:
Maximum weight
1. The unladen weight of a power-assisted bicycle must not be more than 120 kilograms. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 1.
Wheel width, diameter
2. (1) The wheels of a power-assisted bicycle must not be less than 35 millimetres wide. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 2 (1).
(2) The diameter of the wheels of a power-assisted bicycle must not be less than 350 millimetres. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 2 (2).
Battery and motor
3. (1) The battery and motor of a power-assisted bicycle must be securely fastened to the bicycle to prevent them from moving while the bicycle is in motion. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 3 (1).
(2) The motor of a power-assisted bicycle must disengage if pedalling ceases, the accelerator is released or the brakes are applied. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 3 (2).
Electric terminals
4. All electric terminals on a power-assisted bicycle must be completely insulated and covered. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 4.
Brakes
5. The brakes of a power-assisted bicycle must be capable of bringing the bicycle, while being operated at a speed of 30 kilometres per hour on a clean, paved and level surface, to a full stop within nine metres from the point at which the brakes were applied. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 5.
No modifications
6. A power-assisted bicycle must not be ridden on, driven or operated if it has been modified after its manufacture in any way that may result in increasing its power or its maximum speed beyond the limits set out in clause (d) of the definition of “power-assisted bicycle” in section 2 of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations made under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada). O. Reg. 369/09, s. 6.
Good working order
7. A power-assisted bicycle must not be ridden on, driven or operated unless it is in good working order. O. Reg. 369/09, s. 7.


While it may seem a little trivial to be operating your bike without the pedals, the charges themselves are quite serious unfortunatley. Even on a first offence, no insurance carries a minimum fine of $5,000. I'd suggest scheduling a meeting with the prosecutor to explain your situation and see if you can work out some kind of deal. Bring proof that your bike is now fixed and up to spec with the pedals attached. I'd hope they'd be reasonable and cut you a break, hopefully dropping most of the charges in exchange for a guilty plea to one of the less serious charges. If not you may want to consider hiring a paralegal to represent you.

Thanks for the response,the pedals are removable by design,they are a safetty hazard in normal operation.None of the scooter style E-bikes can be propelled by muscle power.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:04 am
Posts: 8
Simon Borys wrote:
AlienAlien117 wrote:
My E-Bike was towed and impounded for seven days


What for?

The officer informed me that I was charged because the scooter did not have its pedals affixed.None of the charges reflect that.As a result of the pedals not being affixed I was charged with operating a "motor vehicle" except for charge "fail to wear proper helmet on power assisted bicycle".I was wearing an approved bicycle helmet.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:32 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
AlienAlien117 wrote:
Thanks for the response,the pedals are removable by design,they are a safetty hazard in normal operation.None of the scooter style E-bikes can be propelled by muscle power.


Courts won't accept that they're a safety hazard, they're required by law. I've seen some where the pedals fold in, to me that would be legal as they're still attached and can be used (although I guess an argument could be made they're not operable in that state). As for scooters without pedals, they're either illegal for use in Ontario, or they fall under the limited speed vehicle category. LSV's big difference is they can attain a higher speed, don't require pedals but do require plates, licence, insurance, etc.

Here's an MTO page that lists many of the new alternative vehicles and requirements: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/ ... ndex.shtml

Edit: And as Simon said, why is your vehicle impounded for 7 days? They can tow it off the road (not legal for use) but to impound it for a week would require that you were driving while under a certain type of suspension or were charged with impaired/fail to provide.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Posts: 8
Thanks to both of you for responding.A search determined my licence was suspended in 04 (failure to provide).I decided not to apply for renewal and have been under the impression it had simply expired.I fully understand the transformation from "E-bike" to "motor vehicle" is based on the pedals being removed,the charge should relate directly to that. ie.E-bike not in compliance.As previously stated most owners will testify that with no battery these scooters have to be pushed the pedals will not power them.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 10:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 18
So they charge you for riding a power-assisted bicycle with the incorrect helmet. Then they turn around and say this power-assisted bicycle that you are riding is not a power-assisted bicycle at all, so how can you be charged with fail to wear a proper helmet while on a power-assisted bicycle if you were not riding one?

They know this is a power-assisted bicycle with no pedals is still a power-assisted bicycle, even though technically they can upgrade the charges and throw the book at you. Lack of equipment should be like any other equipment deficiency, most of which have nominal set fines, like no bell, no lights, no brakes, etc. This sounds like unusual punishment for what ordinarily should be a minor offense.

You cannot get plates and insurance anyway as an ebike has no VIN number, even if you had a license. If you had a license, with all the serious charges you would probably lose it with all the points you would lose, as well as thousands of dollars in fines. Hardly a fair punishment for a minor infraction.

You can use almost any helmet as long as it is approved, either a bicycle or motorcycle helmet. The requirements are here:
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... m#s103p1s1 and


Quote:
103.1 (1) Every power-assisted bicycle shall have the prescribed equipment and conform to the prescribed requirements and standards. 2009, c. 5, s. 35.

Helmet requirement
(2) No person shall ride on, drive or operate a power-assisted bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a helmet as required by subsection 104 (1) or (2.1).

104. (1) No person shall ride on or operate a motorcycle or motor assisted bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 104 (1).

Idem
(2) No person shall carry a passenger who is under sixteen years of age on a motorcycle on a highway unless the passenger is wearing a helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 104 (2).

Bicyclists to wear helmet
(2.1) Subject to subsection 103.1 (2), no person shall ride on or operate a bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a bicycle helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin.


Approved helmets motorcycle and bicycle either which an ebiker can wear
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/e ... 0610_e.htm


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:53 pm 
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Posts: 2
I got charge for this last summer as well, my pedals were never attached by my dealer and they said it was just legal issue to give it to me.
The Hamilton police charged me with 3 things: no license, no insurance, no plates. Reminded that no license and no plate is a ticket, no insurance is a summon to court. So in any case, you have to go to court.

In my case, I got paralegal to deal this for me which costed me $600. In the end, I was only stick with no plate which is a fine of $110 and since no plate is not the responsibility of the driver, it didn't affect my driving abstract.

I find this law really stupid and does not reflect the cost of these machine. The e-bike I got cost $1200 in which I paid $710 to get out of a fine.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Thanks for all of your updates on this subject.I will be fighting this whole issue in court in Welland August 23rd.I am currently collecting data,photographs,comments etc. on all aspects of the E-bike travesty.One year ago (July 30th) a Welland Tribune article showcased these machines from a safety perspective,having ridden various makes and models for the past five years I've accumulated a significant amount of knowledge pertaining to the machines, and the law.As we build a defense for the upcoming case your input is most welcome.I will keep you informed as to progress,meanwhile "go green" is still the best way to travel!


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
So out of curiosity, what is your defense strategy? If you're going to try and argue it's unsafe to have pedals attached, that would probably be a very uphill battle. I've never heard of Courts going against Ministry equipment regulations. The other issue in my mind is that even if you show the pedals are unsafe, they'll ask you why you simply didn't treat it as a LSV instead.

I apologize if that sounds a little nasty, I'm not trying to give you a hard time, but I think you might have a very hard time in Court. It wouldn't be a simple trial and finding admissible supportive evidence will be tough in my opinion.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 7:47 pm 
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I agree you need legal counsel considering the seriousness of the charges a lawyer or paralegal.

Scooter style ebikes can and are being designed to be pedaled, Just because the one you bought (and other people buy) are poorly designed does not say the law is flawed, just the ebike you bought is flawed. I doubt this line of defense will go anywhere. The pedals are part of the package but not the only thing, that separates your vehicle from a low speed motorcycle. The other things are the compliance sticker, the speed limiter, the limited power and the weight limit.

The charges are all out of proportion to the offense. This would make it to be more of a Charter section 12 challenge. Under the Insurance Act that you were charged with your minimum charge is $5000 plus surcharge, but can be fined up to $50,000 plus surcharge and lose you license, if you had one, up to one year. I think I would have better luck with unusual punishment (section 12) all out of proportion to the crime than trying to show poor ebike design requires not adhering to the law. If you are going to attack the law I would go after the fact that missing pedals should be no more serious than any other mechanical defect like a missing bell, defective brakes, missing or defective lighting, all of which have fines of less than a hundred dollars. Note that a horn or bell, brakes on both wheels, proper lighting also make an ebike an ebike because it is required on ebikes as well as bicycles.

By reclassifying the ebike the police are usurping the will of the Provincial Parliament, first when it modified the HTA to exempt an ebike from requirements of it being a motor vehicle, and second using the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act to punish ebike users, which was never designed to punish ebike users for mechanical insufficiencies. There is no mention of ebikes nor pedals in the Insurance act.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:44 pm
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AlienAlien117 wrote:
Thanks for all of your updates on this subject.I will be fighting this whole issue in court in Welland August 23rd.I am currently collecting data,photographs,comments etc. on all aspects of the E-bike travesty.One year ago (July 30th) a Welland Tribune article showcased these machines from a safety perspective,having ridden various makes and models for the past five years I've accumulated a significant amount of knowledge pertaining to the machines, and the law.As we build a defense for the upcoming case your input is most welcome.I will keep you informed as to progress,meanwhile "go green" is still the best way to travel!


Hey, best of luck with your case.

I was pulled over the 2nd week that I had my e-bike for not having the pedals affixed. I couldn't believe it. I got lucky, he let me off after I showed him the pedals were "equipped" on the bike which is what I thought the law was. I showed him the pedals and he let me finish my ride to work which was in eye shot, I installed the pedals at work. He warned me and told me to tell anyone else I know that has one to make sure the pedals are on it.

Here's the thing, I would like ANYONE to give a logical good reason why a scooter like e-bike should require pedals affixed. Once someone gives me a logical good reason I can accept the law around it. Currently we're all arguing about different definitions and the way that the law is worded in order to justify whether pedals should be "affixed" or "equipped". This is just retarded, listen to ourselves. It's legal to have blinkers and mirrors on vehicles because it makes them safe. Boats are required to be equipped with certain things such as a paddle. These are logical reasons.

As for your court case, here's my two cents that might be a little unique from others. I think it will be difficult IF you realized you were breaking the law and you did it anyways, I can't see the judge sympathizing with you. Even if it's a stupid law, you broke it and no office or judge likes that. Otherwise, if you didn't know then the judge will allow you to explain yourself and the reasoning why you thought you didn't need them affixed on the bike.

If you can involve the media I think there's a better chance too. If I can make it to your court case then I'll definitely be there. I live in London, ON but I will show my support 100% that this condition of a scooter type e-bike is simply stupid and makes no sense to be enforced.

You mentioned there was an article that was published. Was it about your incident? Is there a link to it?

For anyone else reading this. Does anyone know a proactive way to argue and get our point across about the fact pedals should not have to be affixed for general usage of the vehicle.

Personally, I have emailed the local police department here as well as the MTO who actually didn't know the law and told me to contact the police department because they were not sure.

Here's a link to all of my findings on another thread --> http://gioebike.phpbb3now.com/viewtopic ... a&start=10 and this one too which is where I found out about your story --> http://www.ebikeriders.com/messages/boa ... d/14006011

Best of luck!


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:47 pm 
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I’d argue the requirement to have pedals isn’t unreasonable, because it’s supposed to be a vehicle that can be propelled by muscular power. If the vehicle can’t be propelled by muscular power, it simply falls under a different vehicle classification, a limited speed motorcycle. LSM’s, like e-bikes, are perfectly legal to operate, they simply have a few more requirements, namely a licenced operator, vehicle plate and insurance. The Courts do not require the government to satisfy some type of safety argument in regards to equipment requirements that differentiate one vehicle classification from another. The insistence that an e-bike without pedals is still a bike could easily be seen as an attempt to exploit a loophole to avoid the additional expense associated with plating and insuring a vehicle.


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Re: E-Bikes and the HTA
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:31 pm
Posts: 502
t00nie wrote:
AlienAlien117 wrote:
Thanks for all of your updates on this subject.I will be fighting this whole issue in court in Welland August 23rd.I am currently collecting data,photographs,comments etc. on all aspects of the E-bike travesty.One year ago (July 30th) a Welland Tribune article showcased these machines from a safety perspective,having ridden various makes and models for the past five years I've accumulated a significant amount of knowledge pertaining to the machines, and the law.As we build a defense for the upcoming case your input is most welcome.I will keep you informed as to progress,meanwhile "go green" is still the best way to travel!


Hey, best of luck with your case.

I was pulled over the 2nd week that I had my e-bike for not having the pedals affixed. I couldn't believe it. I got lucky, he let me off after I showed him the pedals were "equipped" on the bike which is what I thought the law was. I showed him the pedals and he let me finish my ride to work which was in eye shot, I installed the pedals at work. He warned me and told me to tell anyone else I know that has one to make sure the pedals are on it.

Here's the thing, I would like ANYONE to give a logical good reason why a scooter like e-bike should require pedals affixed. Once someone gives me a logical good reason I can accept the law around it. Currently we're all arguing about different definitions and the way that the law is worded in order to justify whether pedals should be "affixed" or "equipped". This is just retarded, listen to ourselves. It's legal to have blinkers and mirrors on vehicles because it makes them safe. Boats are required to be equipped with certain things such as a paddle. These are logical reasons.

As for your court case, here's my two cents that might be a little unique from others. I think it will be difficult IF you realized you were breaking the law and you did it anyways, I can't see the judge sympathizing with you. Even if it's a stupid law, you broke it and no office or judge likes that. Otherwise, if you didn't know then the judge will allow you to explain yourself and the reasoning why you thought you didn't need them affixed on the bike.

If you can involve the media I think there's a better chance too. If I can make it to your court case then I'll definitely be there. I live in London, ON but I will show my support 100% that this condition of a scooter type e-bike is simply stupid and makes no sense to be enforced.

You mentioned there was an article that was published. Was it about your incident? Is there a link to it?

For anyone else reading this. Does anyone know a proactive way to argue and get our point across about the fact pedals should not have to be affixed for general usage of the vehicle.

Personally, I have emailed the local police department here as well as the MTO who actually didn't know the law and told me to contact the police department because they were not sure.

Here's a link to all of my findings on another thread --> http://gioebike.phpbb3now.com/viewtopic ... a&start=10 and this one too which is where I found out about your story --> http://www.ebikeriders.com/messages/boa ... d/14006011

Best of luck!


Be care full what you ask for.

The pedals are needed for it to be called a bicycle.

Years ago I had 1 of the first mopeds, I could pedal it but it was faster to push it.(pedal was used to start it up.)
Once it started there was no need of the pedals.
It was limited to 28 M.P.H and under 50 C.C.
No rules at all.
The next year they added that insurance was needed.(now I guess it is a low speed motorcycle)

If you prove pedals are not needed they find a way to regulate them as that is how they get around the law.

That said: to the OP

Your bike is considered a bike like any pedal bike.
If for some reason a bike loses it's pedals and you got on it, are you now on a vehicle of some other class.

Cheers
Viper1

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There are no new unread posts for this topic. HTA 144 (14)

Questionz

13

1466

Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:15 am

Bookm View the latest post

There are no new unread posts for this topic. HTA 136(1)(b)

hershey

3

1147

Wed May 21, 2008 6:59 am

hwybear View the latest post

There are no new unread posts for this topic. HTA 154 (1) a

Unluckygal

8

4838

Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:48 pm

Unluckygal View the latest post

There are no new unread posts for this topic. HTA 144(18)

tiredandjaded

10

4280

Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:06 am

FrankTheRabbit View the latest post

 


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