If you spend much time on the road in Metro Vancouver, you’ve likely seen an e-scooter motoring along a bike lane or in traffic.
But owners of the increasingly popular mode of transportation, also known as motor-assisted cycles, say their vehicles fall into a legal grey area, and they’re being punished for it.
E-scooter owner Jason McCracken is frustrated with the system, which he said has left him $600 in fines already, for using the scooter without insurance.
The problem? McCracken said he couldn’t get insurance.
“I talked to the insurance… the manager herself,” he said. “She saw it and told me I don’t need a licence or insurance.”
WATCH (July 25, 2019): Electric scooters grow in popularity but remain illegal on B.C. roads
According to ICBC, you need insurance for low-powered motorcycles and scooters.
But there’s a grey area. If you have an e-scooter with pedals, like Jason’s, it could qualify under the motor-assisted cycle guidelines, which means it doesn’t need insurance.
Those regulations were designed for bicycles with a battery and motor to help the rider in mind.
But at least one e-bike retailer told Global News some more powerful scooters with pedals attached appear designed to skirt the rules.
“(It’s) to circumvent the law,” said Mark Moore with Cit-E Cycles.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said it is evaluating the legislative and regulatory framework for all types of transportation, including e-scooters.
Any new policies will be too late for McCracken, who said he has no plans to give up his scooter and is ready to go to court to fight his ticket.