For those who do not know what an E-Bike is; For use in the Province of Ontario, a power-assisted bicycle, or e-bike, is a bicycle that: – has a maximum weight of 120 kg (includes the weight of bike and battery); – has wheels with a diameter of at least 350 mm and width of at least 35 mm; and – meets the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle: – has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals, – is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, – is capable of being propelled by muscular power, – has one or more electric motors that have, singly or in combination, the following characteristics: – it has a total continuous power output rating, measured at the shaft of each motor, of 500 W or less, – if it is engaged by the use of muscular power, power assistance immediately ceases when the muscular power ceases, -if it is engaged by the use of an accelerator controller, power assistance immediately ceases when the brakes are applied, and -it is incapable of providing further assistance when the bicycle attains a speed of 32 km/h on level ground, – bears a label that is permanently affixed by the manufacturer and appears in a conspicuous location stating, in both official languages, that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle as defined federally, and – has one of the following safety features, – has an enabling mechanism to turn the electric motor on and off that is separate from the accelerator controller and fitted in such a manner that it is operable by the driver, or a mechanism that prevents the motor from being engaged before the bicycle attains 3 km/hr. Most people are aware that in Ontario a licence is not required to operate one of these E-Bikes, making it a good mode of transportation for anyone over 16 who wants to get around independently but that does not have a driver’s licence. The only snag with these is that if you have a driver’s licence suspension for a conviction under the Criminal Code for a driving offence, you CAN NOT operate one. A conviction of this type would primarily be a conviction for Impaired Driving or Over 80. If you are currently suspended due to a conviction and are found to be riding an E-Bike you can be charged with the Criminal offence of Drive Disqualified. Why, let me explain… Under the Criminal Code a motor vehicle is defined as: “motor vehicle” means a vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, but does not include railway equipment. Therefore because en E-Bike is propelled by not just muscle power when on peddle mode but also by an electric motor it falls under this definition. So when a Criminal Code suspension occurs it means a suspension from driving a motor vehicle as defined by the Criminal Code. In contrast to the Criminal Code, the Highway Traffic act defines a motor vehicle as: “motor vehicle” includes an automobile, a motorcycle, a motor-assisted bicycle unless otherwise indicated in this Act, and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power, but does not include a street car or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine. This definition does not include E-Bikes as motor vehicles. If someone has a licence suspension for a Highway Traffic act infraction they can still operate an E-Bike. There are few people who are aware of this, even the Ministry of Transportation only recently amended their web site to warn people that if under a criminal suspension they cannot operate an E-Bike. There has been, however some Drive Disqualified charges laid related to E-Bike operation, so some police officers are aware of this.