E-Bikes & E-Scooters

What you need to know about E-Bikes and E-Scooters

The Ottawa Police would like to share some information on the regulations around these methods of transportation. 

Although you do not need a licence, insurance or registration, you must be at least 16 years old to operate an electric kick-scooter as well as an E-Bike. 

E-Bikes

When operating an E-Bike you need to wear, at a minimum, a bicycle helmet.

There are specific regulations that advise that an E-Bike can go no faster than 32km/h on a roadway and that any modification to an E-Bike, such as removing the pedals or adapting the power source, classifies the E-Bike as a motorcycle, for which you need an M licence, insurance and registration. Read more here.

Although you do not need a licence to operate an E-Bike, it is considered a vehicle under the Criminal Code, which means you cannot operate it if you are impaired or if you are a disqualified driver.

E-Scooters, also known as electric kick-scooters

The Highway Traffic Act states that:

  • It is to be operated in bike lanes or on the shoulder of a roadway.
  • These scooters are to be equipped with a horn or bell.
  • They also need to be equipped with a lamp if operated anytime between dusk (30 minutes before sunset) and dawn (30 minutes before sunrise).
  • You cannot carry a passenger or cargo on an electric kick-scooter.
  • If the operator is under 18 years old they must wear a bicycle helmet.

The Ottawa City By-law adds that E-Scooters:

  • are permitted on streets with a posted/unposted speed of 50km/h or less
  • are permitted in reserved use bike lanes, cycle tracks and multi-use pathways
  • are not permitted to be ridden on sidewalks. 

For both E-Scooters and E-Bikes you are required to stop and identify yourself when asked to by an officer. 

Regardless of what type of vehicle you are operating on the roadway, you should always obey these two guidelines in order to avoid injury or even death: be aware of your surroundings and share the road.

If you are involved in a collision that results in an injury or property damage, you are required to report the collision to the police. If the injury is life-threatening, call 911 immediately; if it is property damage, call 613-236-1222.