The province of British Columbia has pursued a detailed safety study for electric kick scooters.
The benefits and effects of people using e-scooters will be studied in detail to help more local governments across the province of British Columbia evaluate how the mode of personal transportation can be safely integrated into local transportation networks.
“E-scooters are part of an ongoing shift toward electric personal mobility that’s reducing emissions by giving people new clean and affordable options to get around,” said British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming. “We’re making it easier for local governments to test e-scooters on their own roads so we can ensure future regulations represent the needs of people across the province.”
The safety review will start on April 5, 2024, and run for four years. The review replaces the first phase of the e-scooter pilot project that began in 2021, where the use of electric kick scooters was tested in 13 participating communities during a three-year period. The review enables the collection of better health and safety data, which is needed to address outstanding questions about the safe integration of e-scooters into transportation networks. This will help determine if and how electric kick scooters should be permanently authorized for general use in the province of British Columbia.
“Use of e-scooters for personal transportation is growing in communities across B.C.,” said Trish Mandewo, president, Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). “Local governments have asked the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to work with them to ensure that appropriate regulation is in place and will welcome the findings the pilot projects will yield. UBCM appreciates this collaborative and constructive effort to address a critical shift in public transportation.”
During the next phase of examination, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will lead an ongoing safety evaluation, together with government partners, ICBC and the BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit (BCIRPU). This work will complement safety evaluations supplied by communities participating in the review.
“The BCIRPU is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on this important project to evaluate e-scooter safety data relating to injuries,” said Dr. Ian Pike, director, BCIRPU. “This project will clarify any safety and injury concerns, advance our understanding of micromobility and determine whether e-scooters can be a viable mode of transportation on our roads.”