Victoria mayor wants provincial exemption for e-scooters
The Motor Vehicle Act does not define e-scooters and advocates argue they're being treated as illegal by default. (File photo)
Lisa Helps is B.C.'s latest mayor hoping to get provincial approval for e-scooters.
In a letter sent to Premier John Horgan and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena, Helps asked for an exemption from the Motor Vehicle Act so that the City of Victoria can pilot electric scooters on public roads.
Under British Columbia's Motor Vehicle Act, it is currently illegal to use an e-scooter on public roads and sidewalks.
The Motor Vehicle Act does not define e-scooters and advocates argue they're being treated as illegal by default.
"This lack of definition has created confusion over how these low-speed devices should be regulated, causing B.C. cities to fall behind in adopting this next-generation transportation option," Helps wrote.
The mayor says electric standup scooters have provided "safe, sustainable, and low-cost last-kilometre transportation to tens of millions of riders across North America. In doing so, they have reduced carbon emissions, relieved congestion, and made streets safer by eliminating car trips from the road. "
Last month, Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran wrote a similar letter to the province requesting an exemption so that Kelowna could also pilot e-scooters.
Victoria city staff have met with U.S.-based company Lime which is hoping to bring its shareable e-scooters to Victoria.
According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the province is evaluating legislation around e-scooters as part of an ongoing active transportation strategy.