Toronto Wants to Crack on Modified E-Scooters, So It's Whipping Out Fines of Up to $18,000

  • A man was caught by the Toronto Police riding a scooter at about 31 mph.

  • Electric scooters in Canada are limited to 15 mph by law.

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Electric scooters have been a problem for the city of Toronto for a while now. This issue has been addressed through a clear and definitive solution: a ban on them starting in 2021. In Canada, each municipality has the authority to permit or prohibit their use, and for the time being, Toronto has opted for a ban.

The city recently deliberated on initiating a pilot project that would help it decide whether it should allow this type of vehicle. However, in part, this is a small rhetorical exercise, given that it’s not uncommon to see individuals in Toronto using e-scooters on the streets.

Despite the ban, CBC News reports that the use of e-scooters has been increasing in recent years. According to the Canadian outlet, the demand in stores continues to grow, although officials have reminded sellersthat this type of vehicle can’t be used on the street.

The penalty for using electric scooters ranges from CA$60 to CA$90 ($44 to $66). Some politicians point out that the police aren’t enforcing the law. In 2023, only 89 e-scooter users were fined for riding it on sidewalks. This is a remarkably low figure for a city with almost 3 million residents.

It’s important to note that this isn’t about committing an infraction while using an e-scooter. This is about using it at all, which is grounds for a fine in itself.

However, the $44-$66 fines are nothing compared to what the owner of an electric scooter recently caught by the Toronto Police is facing.

While driving in traffic at a speed that allowed him to surpass other drivers and avoid a traffic jam, he was caught on a TikTok video that quickly went viral. It wasn’t because of the footage itself, but because of what the local police explained he was doing wrong.

Modified and Forbidden: Up to $18,000 Fines

As mentioned before, in Canada, only a few cities allow residents to use electric scooters and there's a maximum speed limit set for them. In the U.S., that limit is 20 mph, while in Canada, it’s about 15 mph.

Recently, the Toronto Police noticed a person using an e-scooter freely in traffic, which is not permitted, as a Traffic Unit officer explains in this TikTok video. Much less so if you’re driving a modified scooter exceeding 15 mph.

According to the rules for electric scooters in Canada, drivers must stop accelerating once they reach 15 mph. If they continue to increase their speed, authorities consider the scooters to be motorcycles, which require the owner to meet certain conditions to navigate.

In the TikTok video, the police officer explains that the e-scooter driver is committing several offenses. The first offense is riding the e-scooter on the streets, which isn’t allowed in Toronto.

The officer then lists all the other rules the driver is breaking. Since he was driving an e-scooter at more than 15 mph, it was considered a motorcycle, which required a specific license that the driver didn’t have. Additionally, if considered a motorcycle, the e-scooter should also have a license plate and insurance, which it also lacked.

The potential fine for these violations? Between CA$5,000 and CA$25,000 ($3,600-$18,000).

Image | Let’s Kick via Unsplash

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