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A photo of two e-scooters parked on a sidewalk, both with red tail lights and license plates.

E-Scooters

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What are E-Scooters? 

Electric Kick Scooters or E-scooters have been launching as pilot projects in many cities across Canada recently. There are many different types and configurations of e-scooters and each province has different regulations regarding where a rider can operate an e-scooter, the maximum speed of the e-scooter, and what safety features e-scooters must be equipped with.

Additional information on government rules and by-laws:

Accessibility concerns for vulnerable road users 

With the introduction e-scooter pilot projects becoming more common across the country, CNIB is concerned about how the deployment of e-scooters is impacting people who are blind or partially sighted.  

While many municipalities discourage or ban the riding of e-scooters on sidewalks, many users still do so without consequence, making these shared spaces less safe for pedestrians who are blind or partially sighted. A horn or bell is mandatory on all e-scooters, but there is no way to enforce riders to use them to warn pedestrians who may not see them approaching.  

One of the major appeals of e-scooters is that they can be left anywhere (within regulations) for the next user. However, this has resulted in e-scooters being poorly parked and becoming tripping hazards for people with sight loss. E-scooters are commonly left against poles near an intersection, limiting access for a pedestrian with sight loss to the accessible pedestrian signal.  

CNIB has documented many instances of e-scooters being abandoned in intersections and sidewalks, creating barriers for people with sight loss and other disabilities. The ability to report e-scooter incidents remain another barrier for people who are blind or partially sighted who may find it difficult to identify the company, colour, or other identifying features of the e-scooter. 

CNIB advocacy on e-scooters 

Since the introduction of e-scooters in cities across Canada, CNIB and other disability organizations have made efforts to mitigate the adverse effects that they have had on the population of Canadians with disabilities.   

CNIB held town halls in which stakeholders, e-scooter companies and local government officials could listen to the concerns and recommendations of people with sight loss. We have sent concerns and recommendations to e-scooter companies and municipal governments, urging them to implement these changes in a timely manner.

CNIB has developed a national Policy Brief related to e-scooters that we used to advocate to municipal and provincial governments to include safety considerations for vulnerable road users in their rollout of e-scooter programs.  

Link: CNIB National Policy Brief on E-Scooters in Canadian Cities

CNIB has created four posters featuring a series of improperly parked e-scooters. We encourage you to download these posters to assist in your advocacy efforts.

Deputations 

Deputation to Toronto City Council, July 2020

Ottawa E-Scooters Report, November 2020

Deputation to Ottawa Transportation Committee, June 2020

Deputation to Toronto Infrastructure & Environment Committee, April, 2021

Deputation to Hamilton Public Works Committee, April, 2021

CNIB Ottawa E-scooter Report, Fall 2021