The British Columbia government says the province is one step closer to rolling out legislation that would pilot projects to test new transportation technology.
The Horgan government says upcoming changes to the BC Motor Vehicle Act will allow government to work with communities in researching and testing how new mobility technologies, including e-scooters, electric unicycles or e-skateboards, should be used to promote active transportation and ensure the safety of all road users.
In the BC Government’s report Move Commute Connect, Claire Trevana, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure said “As part of our CleanBC plan to build a stronger, brighter future for this province, we are making active, cleaner transportation easier and safer—helping us all be part of a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable B.C.”
The updated BC Motor Vehicle act gives the provincial government, along with local communities, the ability to address changing public mobility needs and expectations. As well, it will allow the government the opportunity to find solutions for devices that are not permitted to operate on highways or sidewalks.
The changes are part of the NDP government’s strategy to boost active transportation and make non-vehicular transportation safer for pedestrians, cyclists and others.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Provincial Health Officer says “Systematically moving BC toward active transportation, including in related infrastructure, education and access, has the potential to simultaneously increase physical activity of British Columbians, reduce motor vehicle crash injuries and fatalities, and improve environmental health.”
Amendments to the act, which were introduced in early October 2019, have been approved and will give government the ability to establish a regulatory framework to support the safe, effective use of increasingly diverse modes of personal transportation.
The changes clarify how emerging transportation technology can be used and allow the Province to engage with local governments to test these devices.
The BC government says it is developing the process for creating pilot projects, and anticipates providing further information and inviting community proposals in January 2020.