Bike Safety

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E-Bike information

  1. E-bike are classified as a Motor Assisted Cycle (MAC) under provincial law
  2. MAC must be powered by electricity, a gas engine does not qualify
  3. Scooter style E-bikes are no longer considered MACs, 
  4. Helmets must be worn when riding a MAC or any bicycle
  5. Must be over 16 to legally ride a MAC
  6. Must not exceed 32km/hr on a flat surface or have power output greater than 500 watts
  7. No requirement for licensing or insurance if using a MAC
  8. If not operating a MAC then a driver’s license and insurance is required
  9. If travelling after dark, must have lights on the front and back of the MAC
  10. MACs and regular bicycles are not permitted to cycle on the sidewalk
  11. MACs and regular bicycles must follow all the same traffic laws as vehicles 
  12. Must ride to the right of any lane it is occupying
  13. Fines for offences range from $29 to $368
  14. Additional information available from ICBC and the Motor Vehicle Act

Comparison: Electric Bikes and Scooters

Motor Assisted Cycles (E-Bikes)

Limited Speed Motorcycles.


Combine bicycle pedal power with electric motor assistance.

 To qualify, must be a Motor Assisted Cycle as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act and meet Motor Assisted Cycle Regulation criteria.

Are low-powered motorcycles (that is, mopeds and scooters). LSMs rely on motor power and are generally not equipped with bicycle-style pedals, but may have them.

To qualify, must be a Limited Speed Motorcycle as defined in the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations


500 watts or less, bicycle-style pedals for manual propulsion, and motor must turn off or disengage if the operator stops pedaling, the accelerator controller is released, or the brake is applied. 

Gas engine 50 cc or less or electric motor less than 1500 watts. Does not require clutching or shifting. 

Maximum Speed

32 km/h on level ground.

70 km/h on level ground.

Vehicle Registration, Licensing, & Insurance

None required.

Must be registered, licensed, & insured as a motor vehicle. Consider a ticket for no insurance if not. 


No driver’s license is needed.

Must be at least 16 years old to operate on a highway.

Must have a driver’s license. Any class, but must still abide by restrictions on that class including supervisor and display L or N. Consider a ticket for no dl.


Must wear a bike helmet.

Must wear a motorcycle helmet.

Rules of the road

Same rights and duties as a motor vehicle. Additional rights and duties laid out in Section 183 Motor Vehicle Act. 

Same rights and duties of a motor vehicle. Highway use may be restricted. 

Where Operate

Anywhere a bicycle can ride. May not be allowed on some highways regulated by minimum speeds.

Must be operated as a motor vehicle on the highway. May not be allowed on some highways regulated by minimum speeds. 


350mm or more in diameter.

254mm or more in diameter.


 Motor Vehicle Act - BC Laws

 "highway" includes:

(a)every highway within the meaning of the Transportation Act,

(b)every road, street, lane or right of way designed or intended for or used by the general public for the passage of vehicles, and

(c)every private place or passageway to which the public, for the purpose of the parking or servicing of vehicles, has access or is invited, but does not include an industrial road;

  • Not Permitted on Roads: Scooter, motorized skateboard or self balancing board, pocket bikes (mini motorcycles)
  • Permitted on sidewalks, walkways, crosswalks and paths: Motorized wheelchair