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Riding an e-bike in Ontario? Not sure which helmet to wear?

December 18, 2015, no comments

If you want to indulge in e-bike riding, having fun is a given but staying safe must be the number one priority.

When it comes to rules and regulations there are a few one should pay attention to.

When it comes to helmet laws in Ontario, according to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, every cyclist under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet.

But besides regular cycling and bikes the province of Ontario is conducting a three-year pilot project in order to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles, or e-bikes on the roads, which is open to everyone over 16.

What are e-bikes (e-scooters)?

An e-bike or an e-scooter is a regular bicycle assisted by a battery-powered electric motor that assists the rider in pedaling and increases the amount of power to the wheel.

The electric motor should not exceed 500 Watts power mark or the speed limit of 32 km/h. The e-bike should also not exceed the maximum weight of 120 kg and has to have a manufacturer label confirming the conformity with the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle.

What are the helmet safety laws?

Every e-bike rider must wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet. It must be noted that there is no separate electric scooter helmet law nor is there a specific electric scooter helmet so the rules that apply to regular bicycle helmet safety apply in this field also.

According to the Highway Traffic Act, no person shall ride or operate a motorcycle or motor assisted bicycle on a highway unless the person is wearing a helmet that complies with the regulations and the chin strap of the helmet is securely fastened under the chin.“

Which helmet is the right one?

If you don’t know which helmet to use, there are simple pointers that can help you finding the right helmet for you. Look for a helmet that fits comfortably and meets safety standards. Inside of each helmet there are stickers you should look for.

Ministry of Transportation suggests looking for stickers from one or more of the following organizations:

  • Canadian Standard Association: CAN/CSA D113.2-M89
  • Snell Memorial Foundation: Snell B90, Snell B95, Snell B90S, or Snell N94
  • American National Standard Institute: ANSI Z90.4-1984
  • American Society For Testing and Materials: ASTMF1447-94
  • British Standards Institute: BS6863:1989
  • Standards Association of Australia: AS2063.2-1990
  • United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 16 CFR Part 1203

To be sure you are wearing the helmet properly follow several simple tips:

  • There should be two finger widths between your eyebrows and the helmet.
  • The straps should be flat against the face.
  • The side straps should meet just below the ear making a V-shape under your ear lobe.
  • The chin strap should be fastened snugly with enough room to fit one finger between your chin and the strap.
  • Use the sizing pads provided with the helmet to adjust the fit.

Be aware that you can ride the e-bike on most roads and highways where conventional bikes are permitted, with some exceptions. However, it is illegal to modify the motor of the power-assisted bicycle or e-scooter in order to reach greater speed.

So the next time you go out for a ride on your e-bike, wear a bicycle or motorcycle helmet, and have one thing in mind, safety comes first and wearing a helmet is the number one rule in bicycling safety.

 

If you have any questions about choosing the right helmet, call us today to speak to a Scooteretti associate. We can help you find the right helmet that will fit both your style, and comfort!

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