CASE LAW – Motor Vehicle or Motorized Bicycle?
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014
Gasoline Motor Powered Bicycle
This one is a bit different as the case law comes out of Ontario, although the same principles would apply equally well here in BC. Ricky Pizzacalla was riding a motorized bicycle while impaired. He was charged criminally and convicted. The case went all the way to the Ontario Court of Appeal where leave to hear the appeal was denied.
The court held that because the pedals were not attached to Pizzacalla’s ride, it was clearly a motor vehicle and not a bicycle. This is one more thing to consider before you remove the pedals and run afoul of the law. In my experience, this is commonly done these days. While most riders don’t do so while impaired, they cannot licence and insure what has become a motor vehicle so they risk expensive tickets for the violations.
Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.