British Columbia Moped Laws

British Columbia Moped Laws

Limited Speed Motorcycle Defintion

A moped is a two or three three wheeled vehicle that, if it has an internal combustion engine, it has a cyclinder capacity less than 50c.c or if it has an electric motor, a power source that produces a maximum of 1.5 kW. The vehicle may not travel at a speed greater than 70 km/h. A limited speed motorcycle must have a power drive system that does not require clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged. Its wheels must have a diameter of 254 mm or more, and it must have a maximum weight of 95 kg excluding fuel or batteries used to store energy for vehicle propulsion.

Motor-assisted Cycle Definition

Power-assisted bicycles are defined as vehicles ran by an electric motor with a continuous power output rating of not more than 500 watts used as a secondary source of power, that can travel at a maximum speed of 32 km/h while being powered. The wheels of a motor assisted cycle must be 350 mm or more in diameter, and there cannot be more than 3 in contact with the ground.

A motor assisted cycle must be equipped with a mechanism, separate from the accelerator controller, that allows the driver to turn the motor on and off from a normal seated position while operating the motor assisted cycle, or prevents the motor from turning on or engaging before the motor assisted cycle attains a speed of 3 km/hr. The motor of a motor assisted cycle must turn off or disengage if the operator stops pedaling,an accelerator controller is released, or a brake is applied. A motor assisted cycle must not be equipped with a generator, alternator or similar device powered by a combustion engine.

Motor-assisted bicycles do not fall into the category of motor vehicles under the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations.

The definition of a power-assisted bicycle was changed in 2001 by the Transportation Minister. He changed the definition to include bicyles that are powered by both humans and electricity, or by electricity alone. The change in the definition was to allow Canadians to find new transportation means that will be beneficial to the environment. The entire article is at Transport Canada

License Requirements

The minimum age allowed to operate a motor assisted cycle on a public highway is 16. Additionally, if the parent or guardian of an motor assisted cycle operator younger than 16 years permits him or her to operate the cycle, they commit an offense.


the owner of a motor vehicle , before it is used or operated on a highway, must register the motor vehicle with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, obtain a license for its operation under this section, and obtain for it a certificate of insurance under the Insurance Act.

Cycle operating laws

  • Cycle operators must wear standard compliant helmets when operating their cycles on public highways.
  • Operators cannot ride on a sidewalk unless authorized by a bylaw unless otherwise directed by a sign
  • Operators cannot ride on a crosswalk unless authorized to do so by a sign for the purpose of crossing a highway.
  • Cycles must ride as near as practicable to the right side of the highway.
  • Cycles should not ride two abreast in the same highway operating lane.
  • One of the operator's hands must remain on the handlebars of the cycle at all times.
  • Operators cannot carry more passengers than allowed to according to the manufacturers recommendation
  • Cycles may not drag or attach skateboards, roller skates, in-line roller skates, sled, play vehicle or other similar devices.
  • Cycles that are operated during the night time must have the following:
    • a lighted lamp mounted on the front and under normal atmospheric conditions capable of displaying a white light visible at least 150 m in the direction the cycle is pointed
    • a red reflector of a make or design approved by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia for the purposes of this section
    • a lighted lamp, mounted and visible to the rear, displaying a red light
  • Cycles must have good enough brakes that allow them to skid on dry pavement
  • When cycles are operated on public highways, they must abide by all other traffic laws applicable to bicycles and motor vehicles.

Small Motorized Vehicles Information

Regulations in the Motor Vehicle Act and Street and Traffic By-Law already prohibit the use of small motorized vehicles on any City street, sidewalk, or boulevard. However, there are currently no regulations in place to prohibit the use of these vehicles on other public property such as seawalls, public plazas, and statutory right of ways.

External Resources
  • British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act
  • British Columbia Motor-Assisted Cycle Definition

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