A legal blow is dealt to motorized e-bikes in British Columbia's Court of Appeal ruling.
Appellant's counsel argues that his client used Motorino XMr to locate transportation that was more fairly priced.
The British Columbia Court of Appeal has affirmed a previous BC Supreme Court decision that e-bikes that imitate mopeds or scooters but are built to have improved mobility do not count as motor-assisted vehicles and, as such, require a driver's license, registration, and insurance.
Ali Ghadban was given a ticket in Surrey, British Columbia, in 2018 for riding his Motorino XMr without a driver's license and insurance. He told me that he was unable to retrieve the forms from ICBC.
Two of the three Appeal Court justices is of the opinion that the Motorino XMr, which has pedals, minimal strength, and a top speed of 32 km/h, would not meet the requirements to be called a motor-assisted cycle, since it is not designed to be driven solely by human power.
In the centre of the dilemma are the small pedals belonging to the XMr, as confirmed by the Court of Appeal Justice Harvey M. Groberman. Groberman said the XMr is designed for exclusive use as a powerful, impractical bicycle.
The XMr has all of the legal specifications for a motor-assisted bike under British Columbia's Motor Vehicle Act, but it is not practical in operation.
According to him, it is impractical to assume that a rule describing "cat" as "a tiny four-legged furry mammal that purrs" would involve a dog equipped with a loudspeaker that plays a purring tone.
According to Dan Griffiths, who represented Ghadban in the case, Ghadban is a man of modest financial means who depended on his bike for transportation.
Griffiths stated that he was delighted to discover a method of transportation that was both inexpensive and also environmentally sustainable."
Ghadban, a 35-year-old, maintains building repairs for homeless shelters in the Downtown Eastside, and he has never earned a driver's license, Griffiths said. His lawyer has taken the decision to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
HUB executive director Erin O'Mellin has noted that the announcement is a step in the right direction.
Electric scooters bring a substantially higher risk of danger than normal bicycles or basic e-bikes, particularly if they are using facilities such as bike lanes.
A accident between this kind of scooter and someone on a normal bicycle will be even more serious, she said.
B.C.'s Motor Vehicle Act has not been revised in 50 years, O'Mellin said, and it doesn't comply with any of the newer electronic transportation products, including electric standup scooters and skateboards, that have arrived on the market in that period.
She noted that it is necessary for e-scooters to be incorporated so that drivers are aware of their obligations.
You have more responsibilities if you are driving a bigger, faster-moving car, O'Mellin observed.
In a written statement, the province and ICBC said "we are reviewing concerns in relation to goods which have been confirmed by the courts to be non-compliant to operate on public highways, such as the Motorino XMr."
Since the B.C. Supreme Court's May ruling, ICBC made a few small alterations to its website for motor-assisted bikes.
A image of what looks like an electric scooter is no longer featured in the most updated edition of the site's "Electric Bikes" and "Motor Assisted Cycles" pages.
millions of consumers
As upset as he is by the decision, Steve Miloshev, the owner of the Motorino bike shop in Vancouver, claims that people rely on e-scooters because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while people choose to stop public transport.
In an email to CBC News, he said, "I am upset for the thousands of our customers who have spent thousands of dollars in their clean transportation."
Miloshev claimed that he thinks his scooters and consumers who use them have been unfairly discriminated, whereas electric standup scooters are unfairly allowed.
However, such scooters were never permitted to be used on BC highways.
Miloshev clarified that he plans to base his company on all of the many emerging developments that are available.
This company, which was one of the first to use light electric vehicles in Canada, is very ambitious in regards to environmental and realistic transportation solutions.