Municipal guidelines for the low-speed vehicle pilot program
Best practices for municipalities allowing low-speed vehicles on roads.
On this page Skip this page navigation
Ontario has recently made updates to its pilot framework for permitting the use of low-speed vehicles (LSVs) on-road.
These include changes to reduce redtape and make it easier for these innovative and environmentally-friendly vehicle types to operate in Ontario.
Municipalities must pass a by-law to permit LSV use and may set out specific requirements, including additional safety requirements, based on what is best for their communities. Municipalities are in the best position to determine the needs of their communities.
The Province has established the broad regulatory framework for LSVs including vehicle and operating requirements.
This pilot expires on June 29, 2027.
An LSV is a federally prescribed vehicle class that must meet standards set out in the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. LSVs are electric and must have the following features:
- Windshield defrosting and defogging system
- Turn signals
- A parking brake
- Seatbelts (Ontario’s mandatory seatbelt requirements apply to LSVs)
- A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Operated by a driver with a valid A, B, C, D, E, F or G licence
- Cannot carry passengers under eight years of age
- Operated on roads with a maximum road speed limit of 50 km/h
- Must not be capable of attaining a maximum speed of greater than 40 km/h on a level surface
- Allow LSVs to cross a controlled intersection (where there is a traffic control signal, stop sign and/or other traffic control devices, like a yield sign, that controls traffic in all directions) with a speed limit not greater than 80 km/h
- Cannot carry more occupants than the number of seating positions in the vehicle
- Cannot have a sidecar or trailer
- Cannot be used for an Ontario driver’s licence road test
- Must display a slow-moving vehicle sign mounted on the rear of the vehicle
Considerations for municipalities
Municipalities may wish to consider developing additional operating parameters for LSVs and clearly communicate those parameters. Municipalities may also wish to take into consideration the points outlined below:
- What are the most appropriate mechanisms to monitor, track and report on the use of LSVs under the pilot, including collisions?
- How will LSVs integrate with other road users?
- What data municipalities may require from commercial operators?
- What mechanism is in place for citizens to provide feedback or complaints (i.e., surveys, municipal office or web site)?
- Other local matters as may be appropriate.
Parking and signage
Municipalities may wish to consider clearly defining where LSVs can park (e.g., setting up designated parking locations). Road signs around the municipality alerting other road users to the presence of LSVs in the municipality may be a helpful visual indication for other traffic to know they may encounter these types of vehicles on-road. Clear signage will also help with public awareness of these vehicles on road.
Municipalities may consider:
- Clearly defining where LSVs can park (i.e., anywhere a motor vehicle can park, or in designated spots)
- What type of signage is required and its location?
Municipalities may consider:
- LSV owners and operators are required to have a policy of automobile insurance that meets the requirements of the Compulsory Automobile Insurance Act and that provides coverage of $1 million in third-party liability, accident benefits coverage of $65,000 for non-catastrophic injuries and $1 million for catastrophic injuries. Municipalities may want to consider appropriate operating environments within the municipality for LSVs.
The Highway Traffic Act (HTA) rules of the road apply to the operation of LSVs in Ontario. Penalties in HTA s. 228(8) also apply to violations of the pilot regulation (fine of $250 to $2,500). By-law offences may also apply. There are serious consequences for an LSV operator impaired by drugs, alcohol or both under the Criminal Code of Canada as well as consequences under the HTA.
The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) requires data from municipalities to evaluate this pilot and determine any potential amendments required, if needed. MTO will be evaluating the pilot program and will require accurate and reliable data on all LSV collisions to do this effectively. Municipalities are asked to remit incident/collision and injury-related data to the ministry at REO@ontario.ca.