A new bylaw passed by councillors in Durham means electric scooters can now be legally ridden on its regional roads.
Under a provincial pilot launched at the beginning of 2020, local municipalities in Ontario were granted the power to authorize or ban e-scooters within their limits.
Cities and regions were given the power to decide if and where e-scooters should be allowed.
Durham Region said that, based on feedback and public comments, e-scooters would be allowed for residents aged 16 or older within bike lanes or paved shoulders on regional roads.
“By helping travelers complete the first or last kilometers of travel, e-scooters and e-bikes connect travelers to their destinations and provide more options for residents and visitors to explore Durham Region,” Brian Bridgeman, the commissioner of planning and economic development, said in a statement.
Other jurisdictions, including Toronto, have banned e-scooters.
David Lepofsky, an advocate for people living with disabilities who has opposed the introduction of e-scooters, said those who oppose the mobility devices are overwhelmed.
“We have had no contact that I can recall from Durham, but frankly, there has been so much going on that we are overloaded,” he told Global News.
Lepofsky, who chairs the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance, is concerned e-scooters will pose a hazard particularly to blind residents in Durham and other areas where they have been approved.
Scooters will not be allowed on regional roads where the limit is above 60 km/h. The maximum speed limit for e-scooters will be 24 km/h.
The region said helmets will be mandatory for riders aged 16 and 17, while scooters will have to come with bells and lights.