Electric scooters are now legal on public roads in the province. A new pilot project allows their use on Quebec roads and bike paths where the speed limit is 50 km/h or less. The aim is to see if electric scooters can be used safely in traffic.
Rules to be respected
Since July 20, travelling by electric scooter or any other small, motorized vehicle without an enclosed cabin is permitted. You may do so with your own scooter, or with one of the self-service scooters available where agreements with municipalities allow this service.
However, a few restrictions apply. The scooter must:
- have a maximum speed of 25 km/h,
- have a motor with a maximum power of 500 watts,
- have wheels with a minimum diameter of 190 mm,
- weight 36 kg at most, and
- be equipped with a white headlight and reflector at the front and a red headlight and reflector at the rear.
Other rules are the same as for cyclists, with a few exceptions:
- You must be at least 14 years old,
- You must wear a helmet, and
- You cannot have a passenger.
A minimum fine of $100 applies if you break any of these rules. Additionally, you’ll have to pay court fees when applicable.
The end of other pilot projects
This pilot project will run for three years and brings an end to two earlier projects: one was primarily for employers who wished to make electric scooters available to their employees to facilitate work-related travel, and the other involved the self-service rental of scooters in Laval and in Parc Jean-Drapeau.
The second pilot project had also been implemented for a short time in Montreal in 2019. However, problems related to sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians, as well as self-service scooters being left outside designated parking areas forced the city to withdraw from the project.
Criminal charges possible
A judge could consider electric scooters to be “motor vehicles”. A motor vehicle within the meaning of the Criminal Code is a vehicle propelled by any means other than muscular power. A person could therefore be charged with a crime for driving their electric scooter 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 not toys and must be used with great care!
Did you know? There are relatively few restrictions on electric bicycles. To ride one, you just have to be at least 18 or have a moped licence. You must also wear a helmet. As for mopeds and Vespa-type scooters, visit the website of the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec for the requirements to drive one.