Demerit Points for Bicycles and E-Bikes

Do demerit points accumulate on your licence for tickets involving bicycles or e-bikes? Simon Says: no!

In a recent post entitled Demerit Points in Ontario I discussed the dreaded demerit point system and dispelled 4 myths surrounding it.  I explained how demerit points accumulate, how you can avoid them, and how they affect your insurance.

Adding to that, I would like to address the fact that demerit points do not accumulate for tickets given to people operating bicycles or e-bikes, though people riding bicycles can still be issued tickets such as Red Light (normally 3 points) or Careless Driving (normally 6 points).

Section 210 of the Highway Traffic Act specifies the conditions under which the Registrar of Motor Vehicles shall be notified of a conviction (thereby triggering the addition of that conviction and the associated demerit points to your driving record).

The conditions are where there has been a conviction involving:

“i. a motor vehicle or street car within the meaning of this Act,
ii. a vessel within the meaning of section 48, or
iii. a motorized snow vehicle.”

Going back to the definition of motor vehicle in s. 1 of the Highway Traffic Act, the definition includes:

“an automobile, a motorcycle, a motor-assisted bicycle unless otherwise indicated in this Act, and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power, but does not include a street car or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine”

“Propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power” means bicycles are excluded from the definition and “does not include…a power assisted bicycle” obviously means e-bikes are also excluded.

Therefore, a conviction involving the operation of either of these modes of transportation should not trigger a notification to the MTO, hence there should be no record of it on your driver’s licence abstract, nor should any points accumulate.

Provincial offence notices (a.k.a. traffic tickets) do have a check box on them for situations where no motor vehicle was involved.  This should be checked if you have received a ticket while riding a bicycle or e-bike.  If it is unchecked, it is assumed there was a motor vehicle involved, since that is the case for the majority of tickets issued.  If the box is unchecked, a conviction may trigger a notice to the MTO because there is no other way for the person processing the ticket to be aware that it involved only a bicycle or e-bike.  If the box should be checked but is not, the only recourse is to request that the Justice of the Peace amend the certificate (the ticket) to mark the box checked.


About the author: Simon Borys is a former police officer who is currently studying law at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario to become a criminal defence lawyer.

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