PEOPLE who choose new types of transport, like e-scooters, electric unicycles or Segways, to get around will benefit from proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act, introduced on Monday, October 7.
If passed, the amendments will establish a regulatory framework to allow the use of increasingly diverse modes of personal transportation. These changes clarify how emerging devices are to be used and will ensure the safety of everyone who uses roads and sidewalks. The amendments also allow pilot projects to be established, giving government the chance to partner with communities in researching and testing how new mobility technologies fit in.
Currently, a device that does not fall under the act’s definition of a motor vehicle, cycle or pedestrian is not permitted to operate on highways or sidewalks. However, some new devices struggle to fit into any category and become “unauthorized vehicles.” These amendments will give government the ability to address this.
“We know people are changing the way they travel, and it’s important that our regulations match these changes,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “There are lots of new ways to travel and we need to make sure our laws reflect the needs of our communities today.”
The proposed amendments ensure the definition of road user includes emerging active transportation modes, as part of the Active Transportation Strategy, Move.Commute.Connect. The strategy is part of the provincial government’s CleanBC plan, which was developed in collaboration with the BC Green Party caucus and supports the commitment in the Confidence and Supply Agreement to implement climate action to meet B.C.’s emission targets.
Establishing the authority to conduct pilot projects under the act provides an opportunity for government and local communities to effectively address changing public mobility needs and expectations.