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Interpretation of Ontario acts
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:37 pm 
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The compulsory automobile insurance act 2.(1) says subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,

(a) operate the motor vehicle; or

(b) cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,

on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance.

and then a little farther down it says that it's an offence if your not in compliance with the above.

Would being charge with an offence under the compulsory automobile insurance act not imply that insurance was available to you but you chose to scoff the law and not obtain it? With respect to defending yourself in court what position are you in if insurance is not available to you for something like a goped or a bicycle with an electric motor?

I have the same questions using the same example vehicles with regards to HTA 7.(1) where it says no person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless,

(a) there exists a currently validated permit for the vehicle;

(b) there are displayed on the vehicle, in the prescribed manner,

and after a whole bunch of other stuff it says every person who fails to comply with subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:58 pm 
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A motor assisted bicycle is a motor vehicle for purposes of the HTA.

If you cannot find an insurance company to insure a motor assisted bicycle it is still a motor vehicle for purposes of the HTA and cannot be ridden on a highway without insurance.

Since a motor assisted bicycle is a motor vehicle, it also appears it requires a current validated permit for the vehicle which must be displayed on the vehicle, in the prescribed manner.

The word “prescribed” in s. 7 means prescribed by the regulations.

The regulations are on the link below. I only read it quickly and did not see anything relating to a motor assisted bicycle, however.

Read it all and read it carefully.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/e ... 0628_e.htm


Last edited by Lawman on Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:10 pm 
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Under O.REG 473/06, an electric bicycle ("power-assisted bicycle") is no longer a "motor assisted bicycle" or even a "motor vehicle" with regards to riding it. However that bike must be limited to 32 km/h, or else I think it gets bumped up to "motor assisted bicycle" and "motor vehicle" status.

A power-assisted bicycle thus requires no insurance or registration, and only a bicycle helmet is required. A motor assisted bicycle requires a motorcycle helmet along with insurance and registration, although I don't know how you would be denied either unless you were already considered a high risk.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:21 pm 
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REG 473/06, as Squishy points out.

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/e ... 0473_e.htm

Definition

1. (1) In this Regulation,

“power-assisted bicycle” means a bicycle that,

(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), and

(b) bears a label affixed by the manufacturer in compliance with the definition referred to in clause (a). O. Reg. 473/06, s. 1 (1).

(2) A power-assisted bicycle is deemed to not be a motor vehicle under the Act. O. Reg. 473/06, s. 1 (2).

Pilot project re power-assisted bicycles

2. A pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles on highways is established. O. Reg. 473/06, s. 2.

Regulation of power-assisted bicycles

3. (1) Under this project, any person who is 16 years old or over may ride or drive a power-assisted bicycle on a highway. O. Reg. 473/06, s. 3 (1).

(2) No person who is the owner or is in possession or control of a power-assisted bicycle shall permit a person who is under 16 years old to ride or drive the power-assisted bicycle on a highway. O. Reg. 473/06, s. 3 (2).

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2) and despite the definitions of “bicycle” and “motor assisted bicycle” in subsection 1 (1) of the Act, the Act applies to a power-assisted bicycle and the riding or driving of a power-assisted bicycle as if it were a bicycle and not a motor assisted bicycle or motor vehicle. O. Reg. 473/06, s. 3 (3).

(4) Despite section 5 of Regulation 610 of the Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1990 (Safety Helmets) made under the Act, no person shall ride or drive a power-assisted bicycle on a highway unless he or she is wearing a bicycle helmet as required by subsection 104 (2.1) of the Act. O. Reg. 473/06, s. 3 (4).



Below is the Motor Vehicle Safety Act referred to in clause 1 (a) of REG 473/06 above.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/M-10.01/

A power-assisted bicycle is defined in subsection 2 (1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.

Here is the regulations.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showtdm/cr ... .C.-c.1038

Subsection 2 (1) defines a power-assisted bicycle.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showdoc/cr ... 630?page=1

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; (bicyclette assistée)


Last edited by Lawman on Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2009 11:51 pm 
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Bear in mind a "power-assisted bicycle” might not be the same thing as a "motor assisted bicycle" for purposes of the HTA.

A "power-assisted bicycle” is electric and does not have a piston driven motor.

A "motor assisted bicycle" under the HTA can be electric or piston driven.


A "motor assisted bicycle" under the HTA means a bicycle,

(a) that is fitted with pedals that are operable at all times to propel the bicycle,

(b) that weighs not more than fifty-five kilograms,

(c) that has no hand or foot operated clutch or gearbox driven by the motor and transferring power to the driven wheel,

(d) that has an attached motor driven by electricity or having a piston displacement of not more than fifty cubic centimetres,and

(e) that does not have sufficient power to enable the bicycle to attain a speed greater than 50 kilometres per hour on level ground within a distance of 2 kilometres from a standing start;



The "motor assisted bicycle" articulated in s. 1.1 (e) of the HTA also goes faster (50 kph on level ground within a distance of 2 kilometres from a standing star) than the "power-assisted bicycle” articulated in Subsection 2 (1)(iv) (32 kph on level ground) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.


HTA REG 473/06 clause 3.3 also states the following.

(3) Subject to subsections (1) and (2) and despite the definitions of “bicycle” and “motor assisted bicycle” in subsection 1 (1) of the Act, the Act applies to a power-assisted bicycle and the riding or driving of a power-assisted bicycle as if it were a bicycle and not a motor assisted bicycle or motor vehicle.

Therefore, an electric power-assisted bicycle and a motor assisted bicycle are not the same thing for the purpose of the HTA.

An electric power-assisted bicycle that means the prescribed standards is considered a bicycle while a motor assisted bicycle that means the prescribed standards is considered a motor vehicle.

Nevertheless, the power-assisted bicycle regulation under the HTA (Reg. 473/06) is being revoked on October 3, 2009.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:48 am 
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The way I see it, any electric bicycle meeting the current definitions as a "power-assisted bicycle" falls under 473/06 (for now), which exempts it from "motor vehicle" status. Something outside of those definitions (e.g., modified to have a higher top speed) would no longer be subject to that regulation and the exemptions, and thus get bumped up to "motor assisted bicycle" status and be considered a motor vehicle. I don't know what happens once top speed exceeds 50 km/h - does it simply become illegal because it does not meet safety requirements of a full-blown motorcycle?

Do you know if anything is in the works to replace O.REG 473/06, or will electric bicycles become a technicality for some while? I think they're getting rid of the current legislation to re-tool it due to some unease about the chunkier and more powerful electric scooters that happen to fall under the current definitions.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 12:51 pm 
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What if a bicycle based contraption meets none of the provincial or federal specifications for power assisted or motor assisted in terms of speed, gearbox, watt or cc rating and so on. What if a person has contacted the MTO and has been told over and over that there is no possible way to register a bicycle based contraption in Ontario. Same goes for insurance what if the insurance companies say they have no classification so no insurance is available.

This is the debate I'm involved in, how does one defend themselves against charges of not having something when that something is not available? In my mind being charged with not having something when that something is not available is somehow a violation of rights.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:26 pm 
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If it meets none of the specifications then I don't think it can be legally driven on a highway.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:24 pm 
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I figure if the bicycle based contraption meets none of the provincial or federal specifications it is not legal for HTA purposes.

Under the HTA a "motorcycle” means a self-propelled vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the driver and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and includes a motor scooter, but does not include a motor assisted bicycle.

Since the bicycle based contraption includes pedals and muscle power in addition to a electric or pston driven motor, it does not meet the definition of motorcycle.

A motorcycle is also a motor vehicle that requires registration and a permit.

Since the bicycle based contraption meets none of the provincial or federal specifications it can not receive registration or a permit.

If insurance is not available for a legal "motor assisted bicycle" you still cannot ride it on the road as it still requires insurance and is still a "motor assisted bicycle" for the purpose of the HTA.

A legal "power-assisted bicycle” does not require insurance, but an illegal "power-assisted bicycle” contraption is still illegal.

StewieS - you need to look at a new line of defence. What city or town are you in?

The French Language Law might save you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Reg. 473/06) is being revoked on October 3, 2009 as it was a pilot project that is now becoming law.

Section 38 of the HTA is being amended and will become law sometime after Oct 3.


38. (1) No person under the age of 16 years shall drive or operate a motor-assisted bicycle or power-assisted bicycle on a highway. 2009, c. 5, s. 8.

Same

(2) No person who is the owner or is in possession or control of a motor-assisted bicycle or power-assisted bicycle shall permit a person who is under the age of 16 years to ride on, drive or operate the motor-assisted bicycle or power-assisted bicycle on a highway. 2009, c. 5, s. 8.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Lawman and Squishy thank you for the replies. Just to clarify I'm not in a position where I need a defence, I'm simply involved in a discussion where the legality of things like gopeds, bicycles with electric or gasoline motor kits installed, mobility scooters modified to use a gasoline engine are being debated.

The HTA defines a motor vehicle with the following text.

motor vehicle” includes an automobile, a motorcycle, a motor-assisted bicycle unless otherwise indicated in this Act, and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power, but does not include a street car or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine; (“véhicule automobile”)

The heart of the debate is now focused on when something is modified, or created, that is not powered solely by muscles what charges can be, or are, pursued when it's used on an Ontario road. For instance a bicycle has had it's pedal propulsion system removed and is then coasted down a road, hill required of course. Is it now a motor vehicle for which registration and insurance is required even though it does not have a motor of any kind? A personal mobility device (medical scooter) that is normally powered by an electric motor requires no registration or insurance in Ontario. If the electric motor is replace with a small gasoline engine does it now require registration and insurance? For the example things mentioned and others can charges under the HTA and compulsory automobile insurance act actually be pursued? If they are pursued what would the outcome be when you consider that registration and insurance is not available nor was it at all required before modification.

Kind of an of the wall topic but to me it is interesting when you consider that many people are using such things on our roads. I met up with a guy stopped at a stoplight the other day, he was wearing (riding?) roller blades that came with a 25cc motor attached to one of the blades and had a hand held throttle thingy. I asked if the police had ever questioned him about his mode of travel and with a smile he said never. I clocked him with my bicycle computer's speedo and he left me in the dust at about 35k! I work with a young guy that rides his souped up 40cc goped to work most of the time when the weather is good, he says he's never been bothered by the police at all either.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:44 pm 
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You raise a good point. If something is not covered by the HTA it doesn't mean that something doesn't exist. It only means its not covered by the HTA.

The HTA only states:

Driver’s licence

32. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless the motor vehicle is within a class of motor vehicles in respect of which the person holds a driver’s licence issued to him or her under this Act.

Since the object in question does not fall within the meaning of a "motor vehicle" doesn't mean it cannot be driven on a highway.

Some other law might say otherwise, but the HTA does not state this.

Absent a law to the contrary, a person is free to do what they wish.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:49 am 
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The definition of a 'motor vehicle' seems pretty inclusive to me. The "any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power" (to me) would include the motorised rollerblades and the gravity-driven bike.

The definition does not state that the vehicle must be solely powered by a means other than muscular power, just that it is propelled or driven by such. To me, that means that as long as the driver has an option of not using muscular power to propel or drive the vehicle, then it is considered a motor vehicle (unless it is "a street car or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine"). So any sort of hybrid like a powered rollerblade or a jet skateboard would still be a motor vehicle because the driver has the option not to use human power.

The device may not fall into any class that is licensed or even any class that is exempt from a license (e.g., power-assisted bicycle), but that doesn't mean it isn't considered a motor vehicle.

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