No more ‘legal grey zone’ as electric scooters get green light on Quebec roads

Click to play video: 'Quebec gives green light to electric scooters with new pilot project'
Quebec gives green light to electric scooters with new pilot project
Despite seeing their popularity sky rocket, electric scooters have been illegal on Quebec roads. As Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports, that will soon change with a new province-wide pilot project – Jul 7, 2023

Despite electric scooters having zipped by for years, as of July 20 they will legally be permitted on Quebec roads.

The Quebec Transport Ministry announced on Thursday the introduction of a three-year pilot project to study their use and integration on provincial roadways.

Previously e-scooters were banned on public roads and were considered “a legal grey zone,” according to Transport Ministry spokesperson Nicolas Vigneault.

The new legislation is an amendment to the Highway Safety Code and will provide a legal framework for all electric motorized vehicles, including skateboards, scooters and monowheels.

“Cohabitation and safety is the first criteria to make sure everything is going well,” Vigneault said.

Users of electric scooters will have to follow to the same road safety regulations as cyclists.

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Helmets will be mandatory. Drivers must be over the age of 14 and carry a valid piece of identification.

The weight of the scooter cannot exceed 36 kilograms and must not go over a speed limit of 25 kilometres per hour.

According to Vigneault, the delay was due to the constantly evolving motorized market.

“You don’t want to have a regulation month after month. So that is why it took a while because you had new engines that were coming into the market year after year,” Vigneault said.

The use of electric modes of transportation has exploded in popularity on Montreal streets and bike paths, according to Velo Quebec director Magali Bebronne.

She is relieved to finally have rules and regulations to enforce what has become a safety issue in her eyes.

“Nobody benefits from this void that what is and what isn’t,” Bebronne said.

“E-scooters are already on our streets and our bike paths. With this new regulation and pilot project we will be able to set criteria to what is acceptable and what is not.”

Velo Quebec says the pilot project will be an ideal time to highlight improvements needed to expand bike paths to better suit the growing number of users.

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“We have been living with bidirectional bike paths that are very narrow with the popularity of all these means of transportation. Moving forward we really need wider bike paths to allow drivers to overtake safely,” Bebronne said.

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