Are Electric Scooters Legal?

Legal News

Though it may be hard to believe as they whiz by when you’re walking on the sidewalk or crossing the street, riding an electric scooter is generally illegal in Quebec. In fact, riders may even face criminal charges in some situations.

Electric scooters are prohibited everywhere….or almost

You can’t ride an electric scooter on any public road, sidewalk or bicycle path. If you do, you could be fined up to $200. However, two pilot projects allow for the use of electric scooters in certain circumstances.

The first is primarily for employers who wish to make electric scooters available to their employees to facilitate their travel for work.

The second pilot project permits municipalities to test the use of low-speed electric scooters through self-service rental services. Montreal and Westmount tried this in 2019 but dropped the idea afterward. However, this pilot project runs until July 2024, so any municipality in Quebec could give it a try (or a second try, in the case of Montreal or Westmount) if they wish.

Criminal charges possible

The law considers electric scooters to be “motor vehicles”. A rider could therefore be charged with a crime for driving while impaired due to alcohol or drugs, or for dangerous driving.

The consequences of being found guilty of such a crime are serious. Electric scooters are no children’s toy and must be used with great care — if at all.