Electric Scooter Best Riding Practices
We've created this guide to help you get started with your new electric scooter! Whether you're an experienced or first-time rider, we want to make sure you're comfortable navigating the streets of your city safely.
If you're new to riding any kind of Micromobility (like a bicycle or electric scooter) visit the CANBIKE website and watch their safety videos here. They'll show you the proper way to signal, wear a helmet, and much more. Our guide below will help familiarize you with your new electric scooter, where to ride it & what to watch out for while traveling around.
Segway of Ontario's Guide to Safe Riding:
1) Electric Scooter Maintenance & Scooter Check
As a road-user, it is your responsibility to keep your equipment in safe and operable condition. Keeping your device in good condition keeps you and other road-users safe. If you are unsure of the condition of your e-scooter, refrain from riding and bring it to your preferred local service centre.
- Check tire pressure and ensure they are inflated to the recommended manufacturer’s specifications.
- Check for any loose screws or cracks/fractures in the frame.
- Test the brakes on a flat surface at low speed to make sure they are in working order.
- Ensure that all electrical components such as the headlight, turn signals, throttle and brakes are working. Note, if your rear or front lights are not working, avoid riding at night until you can replace or repair the light.
- Make sure wheels are centered in the forks and there is no contact with the brake pads or disc.
Just like a car, bicycle or other mobility devices, performing a pre-ride check can help you avoid unexpected delays or injuries. A simple check before each ride will ensure your device is in proper working condition.
2) Rider Safety & Recommended Rider EquipmentElectric Scooters and Micromobility Devices are in the beginning stages of adoption meaning not everyone understands how to interact with them on roads. It’s important that you as a rider set a positive example to make legalization an easier process.
- Ensure that your device has a bell or horn. Most Segway-Ninenbot devices come built in with one of these options but make sure it's in good operation before use.
- If your E-Scooter does not come standard with a front and rear light, make sure you install a white front light and red rear light and that they are properly fitted. Side reflective strips or running lights can also be added to make you visible from more angles.
- Wear visible and reflective clothing, especially at night.
- E-Scooter riders are encouraged to wear a well-fitted helmet. MIPS Helmets can help reduce concussions in the case of head impact.
- Ride without earphones or headphones to increase awareness of your surroundings.
- Ride sober. If you are planning to consume alcohol, keep your BAC below the legal maximum of .05.
- Wear closed shoes to deflect any potential road debris that makes its way up to your floorboard.
- A bell
- White Front Light
- Red Rear Light
3) Electric Scooter Best Riding PracticesLike any transportation device, E-Scooter and other Micromobility Device users must ride safely. Consider your own safety along with the safety and wellbeing of other road users as you ride your device.
In Ontario, we recommend riding using the E-Scooter pilot project guidelines found here. The key guidelines are:
- Keep speed to a maximum of 24 km/h
- Ride an E-Scooter with maximum 45kg weight
- Use an E-Scooter with maximum power output of 500w
- Use a bell, front white light, and rear red light
- All bicycle rules under HTA are the same for E-Scooters
- Penalties under HTA 228(8) apply to violations of the E-Scooter pilot
We have put together our best practices riding guidelines based on the above knowledge. There are additional guidelines that we recommend reading at the link above.
4) Road Safety Practices
Keeping yourself and other road users safe while riding is a necessity. By following the Road Safety guide, you improve your own safety understanding and reduce the risk of an injury to yourself and others.
If you are practicing at home, find a flat space clear of debris and put down 5-6 pylons or anything of similar size to act as obstacles. If you are unsure of a particular riding technique, contact your local retailer for further information.
Here are riding practices we recommend practicing in a safe area before heading into live streets.
- Practice avoiding and dodging obstacles. Use traffic cones if you have them
- Always pass on the left
- Use a shoulder check before making any maneuver
- Signal left & right
- Stop & slow down
- Anticipate situations and react quickly and calmly
- Slow down when you see someone crossing the road
- Anticipate car driver opening their door - don't ride right next to parked full-sized vehicles
Riding in Live Traffic - Best Riding Practices
Here are riding practices we recommend you practice at slower speeds before increasing the maximum speed on your device:
- Understand that cars, trucks & other full-sized vehicles have blind spots:
- Check the mirrors, if you can see the driver's face, then they can see you
- Try to make eye contact before crossing their path of travel in intersections
- Cross streetcar tracks as close to a 180 degree angle as possible
- Ride in a straight line and avoid swerving or zig-zagging around cars. Being predictable helps other road users understand where you're going
- Brake earlier and ride slower in wet weather conditions
- Familiarizing yourself with road signs and traffic signals on the MTO website
- Familiarizing yourself with traffic light colors (red, yellow and green), and how to treat the intersection as an all-way stop, and to yield the right-of-way when intersection traffic light are not working due to a power failure.
- Cars typically turn left on yellow lights. You should only cross an intersection on a yellow if you cannot stop in time and if it safe to enter the intersection (no one turning left)
- If you are turning right at a red light you must come to a complete stop and check for pedestrians before executing your turn.
5) Understanding E-Scooter Laws and Regulations
In Canada there are no standardized National, Provincial, or Municipal regulations for E-Scooters and other Micromobility Devices.
Like any device or method of transportation, please be aware of your local riding regulations or bans in place.
If you plan to ride your device in a jurisdiction with a ban or restrictions, please be aware that you are responsible for any fines or tickets. Please refer to Section 3, Road Safety and Best Practices to identify safe riding techniques that could reduce the potential for receiving fines or a ticket.
- Despite that Ontario has a pilot project going for e-scooters in the province. The City of Toronto has chosen to opt out of the pilot project and decided to ban e-scooters.
- In Toronto, e-scooters are currently illegal to ride on public property. This includes public roads, highways, sidewalks, and bike lanes/trails.
- However, enforcement of the ban is very weak in the city of Toronto. Toronto Police are cracking down on e-scooter riders riding on sidewalks, intoxicated riders, and distracted riders who are wearing headphones.
- When possible, only ride on roads and bike lanes. Avoid speeding and reckless riding. Follow the rules of the road, stop at red lights and yield to pedestrians and cars.
- Fines can range from $90 to $200. This applies to riding on the sidewalk, running a red light, improper lighting, no bell/horn, not wearing a helmet, failing to yield to traffic, failing to signal, riding in the opposite direction of traffic, riding on highways and expressways, and having a second rider.