In the past couple of years, there has been a noticeable increase in the presence of electric kick scooters on the road in and around Vancouver. With the rise of food delivery during the COVID pandemic, electric kick scooters have become a popular mode of transportation among food delivery workers. Their environmentally friendly, convenient, and cost-effective features are also enticing to city dwellers looking for ways to get around the city. But what are the rules around their use?
Last year, on June 25, the Vancouver City Council approved a pilot program allowing the use of electric kick scooters on minor streets (without lane lines or directional driving lines) and protected bike lanes in participating pilot communities and in accordance with the Electric Kick Scooter Pilot Project Regulation, BC Reg 90/2021 (“Regulation”) and bylaws of each pilot community. The communities that are participating in this pilot project in the Lower Mainland are Vancouver, Richmond, City and District of North Vancouver and District of West Vancouver.
While you do not need a driver’s license to operate an electric kick scooter, you do need to be at least 16 years old. The e-scooter must also meet the following requirements as set out in the Regulation:
- Must be equipped with a braking system that meets the requirements set out in the regulation.
- The wheels must be no more than 430 mm in diameter.
- Must be equipped with a bell or horn.
- Batteries and motor must be securely fastened to the scooter.
- All electrical terminals must be completely insulated or covered.
- Must not have a seat/surface/structure that could be used as a seat; and
- White or amber light at the front and red light at the rear to operate it between ½ hour after
sunset and ½ hour before sunrise.
So where can you ride these electric kick scooters? On streets or highways in a pilot community:
- If a speed limit is 50km/hour or less, in designated bike lanes, or if no designated bike lane
exists, ride as near as possible to the right side of the street; or
- If a speed limit is greater than 50km/hour, only in designated bike lanes.
What should you do if you become involved in an accident while operating an electric kick scooter and the other party is injured? Under s. 19 of the Regulation, you must:
- Remain at or immediately return to the scene of the accident.
- Render all possible assistance.
- Give one’s name and address as well as the name and address of the owner of the electric kick
scooter, if different; and
- Report the accident to a police officer and provide any information relating to the accident that
the police officer may require.
The Regulation is repealed on April 5, 2024.