Rules for riding electric wheelchairs, three-wheel mobility scooters or four-wheel mobility scooters

Some rules must be followed to ensure the safe use of electric wheelchairs, three-wheel mobility scooter and four-wheel mobility scooter on public roads.

General notice

Compliant motorized mobility aids

Only devices that meet the description of a motorized mobility aid (MMA) may be used on public roads. Please note: Not all three- and four-wheel mobility scooters sold on the market conform to this definition.

Rules to follow where traffic is allowed

When the speed limit is 50 km/h or less

You can use an MMA on the roadway. However, you must use a bike lane if it is accessible and practicable. If you’re riding in a bicycle boulevard, you must observe the rules for cyclists.

When the speed limit is over 50 km/h

You must use a sidewalk, bike lane or shoulder. In the absence of such facilities, you may use the roadway for a short distance only, or to get to an area that is otherwise inaccessible.

Rules for driving on a bike lane

When riding your MMA in a bike lane, you must:

  • make sure that the safety of other road users is not compromised;

  • limit your speed to a maximum of 32 km/h (or less, if the speed limit is lower);

  • move in the same direction as cyclists.

Rules for driving on a sidewalk

To drive on sidewalks, the MMA must be equipped with a brake that activates automatically when the gas pedal is released (automatic brake, electro-brake). This requirement does not apply to electric wheelchairs.

On a sidewalk, you can’t exceed 10 km/h and must adjust your speed to that of other users. In addition, you must always take into account the traffic, the environment and the infrastructure.

You are required to use the sidewalk when signage obliges cyclists to use it. The same applies when the sidewalk at a traffic circle is accessible and safe, and there is no bicycle lane or multi-use path to cross it.

Rules for driving on the roadway and its shoulder

In the absence of a sidewalk, bike lane or safe and accessible shoulder, you may ride your MMA on the roadway for a short distance, or to get to a location that can only be reached using this public roadway. However, you must respect the following rules.

When riding on the roadway or shoulder, you must drive:

  • at a maximum speed of 32 km/h (or less if the speed limit is lower);

  • in the same direction as traffic;

  • as close as possible to the curb or right-hand side of the roadway, or on the shoulder.

You are not allowed to ride on the roadway or shoulder in the opposite direction to traffic, unless you wish to:

  • avoid crossing the roadway more than once in a short distance;

  • drive on the lit side of the public road;

  • drive on the side with the widest shoulder.

When a person is walking with you, he or she can move in the same direction as traffic, even if there is no sidewalk along the roadway.

General notice

Safety first

Before driving in the opposite direction in any of the above situations, you need to make sure it’s safe to do so.

You are not allowed to ride on the roadway when signs forbid it to cyclists or road vehicles (for example, during an accident, an event or when an overpass is deemed dangerous).

Rules for crossing a road or intersection

Here are the rules that apply when crossing a road or intersection with an MMA.

Crossing at a pedestrian crosswalk

When entering a pedestrian crossing, other road users must stop and allow you to cross.

If the pedestrian crossing is not located at an intersection with traffic lights or stop signs, you must first make sure you can cross safely.

Crossing at intersections

To cross an intersection, you must obey the pedestrian traffic lights. When there are none, you must obey the traffic lights or stop signs, as the case may be.

Making a right turn at an intersection

If you want to turn right, you must first yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, cyclists and other MMA users crossing the roadway towards which you are heading.

No left turns at intersections

If you wish to turn left, you must cross the roadway in the same way as pedestrians, as shown in the images below.

No diagonal crossing

You may not cross an intersection diagonally, unless authorized to do so by a peace officer, school crossing guard or pedestrian sign.

Crossing in the absence of intersections or crosswalks

If you wish to cross a road, but there is no intersection or crosswalk nearby, you must:

  • give way to oncoming road vehicles, cyclists and MMA users;

  • make sure it’s safe to cross;

  • cross the roadway as directly as possible. You cannot cross diagonally.

Crossing at a traffic circle

To cross a traffic circle, you must use the sidewalk or bike lane, provided they are accessible and safe.

When neither of these infrastructures is present and accessible, you can use the roadway as follows:

  • When approaching a traffic circle, you must slow down and give way to traffic before entering.

  • Once you have entered the roundabout, you must drive anticlockwise (to the right), as close as possible to the curb or to the right-hand side of the roadway.

  • If possible, you should signal your intention before taking the desired exit.

To find out more, see Rules and Good Practices for Driving in a Traffic Circle.

Entering or leaving private property

When entering or exiting private property, you must yield the right-of-way to vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians on the public roadway before proceeding.

Places closed to traffic

With your MMA, you may not drive:

  • on limited-access roads, such as freeways or access roads;
  • for long distances on roadways where the speed limit is greater than 50 km/h;
  • between two rows of vehicles travelling on side-by-side lanes;
  • between a vehicle travelling in the same lane as you and a vehicle parked to the right or left of that lane.

Trailer and passengers

You may not tow a trailer or carry passengers on your MMA. The only exception is if you are transporting a child under 5 years of age and:

  • You use a restraint system;
  • The child is positioned so as not to obstruct your view or interfere with your driving;
  • You drive at a reasonable and prudent speed;
  • You do not compromise the safety of yourself, the child or other road users.

In addition, you must not tolerate anyone grabbing, or being pulled or pushed by, your MMA. However, if you use an electric wheelchair, you can use a stroller designed specifically for it.

Cell phone, headphones or other portable devices

On a three- or four-wheel mobility scooter, it is forbidden to use a cell phone or any other hand-held device designed for communication or entertainment, except in the following exceptional cases.

You may use such a device if:

  • it is securely attached to the MMA and broadcasts only the information you need to get around;

  • you are stationary at the edge of the roadway, on the shoulder, in the bike lane or on the sidewalk, in such a way as not to impede traffic.

Nor should you wear headphones in both ears. You may, however, wear an earphone in one ear only if it helps you find your way around, or is needed to make sure you’re safe.

The above rules do not apply to a person using an electric wheelchair, since he or she is considered a pedestrian. Please read the Rules and Safety Tips for Pedestrians.

Impaired driving

When riding an MMA, you must not be impaired.

If you’re driving a three- or four-wheel mobility scooter, you must not be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Safe behaviour

When using your MMA on public roads, observe the following rules:

Last update: November 1, 2023


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