Jevon Li/ Staff reporter
The usage of e-bikes has been booming these few years. Recently, the British Columbia Court of Appeal has upheld a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that e-bikes do not meet the province’s definition of a motor-assisted cycle and therefore require a driver’s license, registration and insurance.
“If a piece of legislation defines ‘cat’ as ‘a small four-legged furry mammal that purrs,’ we would not expect that definition to include a dog fitted with a loudspeaker that plays a purring sound,” says Harvey M. Groberman, a member of the Court of Appeal Justice.
According to CBC news, a lot of people state that they have been fined hundreds of dollars by the police. They claim that their models are illegal, which confuses a lot of people as most of the e-bikes have similar functions.
The whole situation has sparked an opinionated argument as many people disagree with that fact that e-bikes should be illegal and they require licenses to drive them.
“I feel that there is some kind of negative attitude towards these bicycles,” says Steve Miloshev, owner of a company that sells e-bikes.
Since there has not been any traffic problems caused by the use of e-bikes, the government does not really need to put restrictions on them. In fact, many environmentalists and numerous mayors of different cities encourage the use of them because they can roll towards the goal of a sustainable future. E-bikes are used as an alternative to automotive commuting and to help fight climate change.
Regarding to the requirement to steer e-bikes, TheGuardian news has a totally different perspective. They think that a driver’s license shouldn’t be required as they are slightly different from normal motorcycles.
“Proper e-bikes don’t fall actually under the definition of a motor vehicle, as they require muscular power to operate,” says Graham Miner, director of Highway Safety.
With the amount of refutation towards the new restrictions and negative attitudes about them, it will be intriguing to see the future development of e-bikes.