Time to Regulate E-Scooters
You’ve got to admit that two-wheeled electric-powered personal transport is immensely practical and great fun. It is also, however, an increasing source of inter-vehicular conflict, an expansion of the existing multi-faceted war among the tribes of urban transport. The existing battles are already fierce among the dominant automobile, the engine-revving motorcycle, the anarchic pedal bicycle and the far more numerous but vulnerable pedestrian. Now comes a powerful but erratic insurgent: e-scooters.
They climb curbs, are driven along sidewalks, barrel along bike lanes and cruise mid-road down city streets at 30 kilometers an hour. They are silent-engine intruders that are upsetting the general cease-fire conditions that currently prevail in Great Toronto Auto Bike and Pedestrian War of 2012.
The trouble with the e-scooter is that there is no place for it, no territory where it can legitimately settle and call home. Under existing Ontario regulation, it is not a motorcycle, and therefore does not require any insurance or a licence to operate, so long as its total engine power does not exceed 500 watts and top speed is limited to 32 kilometres an hour.
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