Pass bylaws

Large quadricycles are bikes that can seat 12 or more people and are often used for tourism. They can be non-electric or electric-assisted.

Municipalities that want to allow large quadricycles to operate on their roads must pass bylaws to permit their use and to determine what is best for their communities.

Ontario has established a general regulatory framework for large quadricycles that includes requirements for:

  • type of vehicle
  • vehicle safety features
  • drivers of large quadricycles
  • passengers
  • speed limit restrictions
  • specific road restrictions
  • operating large quadricycles on roads

Each municipality may consider and set out specific requirements for their region including additional safety requirements.

Provincial requirements

Vehicle and safety requirements

Large quadricycles must:

  • have a maximum operating speed of 16 km/h on a level surface
  • have a single seat from which the vehicle is steered and controlled
  • have a minimum of 12 seating positions
  • display a slow-moving vehicle sign attached to the rear of the large quadricycle
  • meet safety equipment requirements and be equipped with:
    • a steering wheel
    • service brakes
    • parking and/or emergency brakes
    • rear-view mirror
    • horn or bell
    • good-quality tires
    • head lights
    • tail lights
    • turn signals
    • brake lights
    • reflectors

For a full list of vehicle requirements, review the pilot regulation.

Operator and safety requirements

When operating a large quadricycle:

  • the driver of the vehicle must have a valid A, B, C, D, E, F or G licence (passengers do not need to be licenced)
  • drugs or alcohol are not permitted (Criminal Code of Canada and the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) rules of the road for impaired driving still apply)
  • number of passengers must be less than or equal to the number of seating positions available
  • passengers of all ages are allowed as long as their feet can reach the pedals and hands reach the shelf
  • children must be of sufficient height to reach the pedals and, if not, may only sit on the back bench
  • passengers under age 18 must wear bicycle helmets
  • the pilot provides permission for the vehicles to operate on roads with maximum speed limits of up to and including 80 km/h, however, upon passing a bylaw, your municipality may choose to limit it to lower speed roads or only specific roads
  • the large quadricycle does not need to stop at railway crossings like other vehicles with more than 10 passengers

For a full list of operator requirements, review the pilot regulation.

Municipal considerations

Your municipality may wish to develop operating guidelines for large quadricycle companies and operators to outline expectations and requirements around such things as:

  • contracts
  • business licences
  • operating agreements

Municipalities that want to allow large quadricycles to operate on their roads may take into consideration the following:

  • Should large quadricycles for personal use be permitted?
  • What are the most appropriate mechanisms to monitor, track and report on the use of large quadricycles under the pilot (for example, business licencing, collisions)?
  • How will large quadricycles share the road with other road users?
  • What data municipalities may require from commercial operators?
  • What specific roadways should be used for the pilot program to safely integrate these vehicles?
  • What mechanism is in place for citizens to provide feedback or complaints (for example, a website or writing to a municipal office)?

Your municipality might also consider:

  • whether to require commercial liability insurance and appropriate operating environments within the municipality since large quadricycles do not need vehicle permits, licence plates or auto insurance
  • identifying where large quadricycles should operate in their region including limiting the large quadricycles to roads with lower traffic volumes and where they pose limited risk to vulnerable road users
  • educating the public about the use of large quadricycles within their municipalities
  • ensuring operators present a plan to prevent impaired individuals from getting on the vehicle if they had too much alcohol or drugs in their system
  • determining whether proposals from large quadricycle operators follow rules in the Occupational Health and Safety Act to ensure the safety of everyone on board the vehicle

The Highway Traffic Act rules of the road apply to the operation of large quadricycles. Penalties in HTA section 228(8) also apply to violations of the pilot regulation (fine of $250 to $2,500). Bylaw offences may also apply. There are serious consequences for a large quadricycle operator impaired by drugs, alcohol or both under the Criminal Code of Canada as well as under the HTA.

Data collection

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) requires data from municipalities to evaluate this pilot and determine if any amendments are required. Once a municipality has passed a bylaw allowing large quadricycles, they must inform the ministry.

By March 1 of each year, municipalities must email us information at Data of interest would include:

  • the names of companies operating these vehicles
  • the number of large quadricycles being put on the roads by each company

We will evaluate the pilot program periodically.

At the halfway point, municipalities must send us accurate and reliable data on all large quadricycle collisions. Police must remit incident, collision and injury-related data to the Registrar within 10 days of the collision using the standardized Motor Vehicle Collison Report.

More information

This document is a guide only. Refer to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act and its regulation for more information.