Laws that Affect Trikes

Every state and province has a statute that governs the use of its roadways (in Ontario it is the Highway Traffic Act). Most make some distinction between motorized vehicles and bicycles, but the specifics are all over the map. It would be useful to have some of the key provisions by jurisdiction, both to ride safely and legally in a particular jurisdiction, and also to have examples of more enlightened rules when lobbying law makers.

Key issues are:
• are trikes defined or included in definition of bicycle?
• are there special rules for e-assist?
• are there restrictions on where trikes can go?
• are there places where trikes are explicitly allowed?
• what are the rules regarding lights, especially at night?
• are there any restrictions on the colour of lights, whether they are flashing, etc?
• can trikes be ridden on the sidewalk?
• can trikes be ridden on the shoulder?

I’ll ppst a comment that includes what I know about Ontario


  • Ontario: Highway Traffic Act
    • definition of bicycle includes 3 wheels and e-assist, but not motorized bicycles
    • no provisions that I can find that treat 3-wheelers and 2-wheelers differently
    • bikes are allowed anywhere that motor vehicles are allowed, except expressways
    • bikes should keep to the right (if slower than traffic) but are entitled to as much of the lane as needed to ride safely; motor vehicles must give clearance of at least a meter (about 3 feet) when passing
    • bikes are allowed on shoulders
    • bikes need a front white light and a rear red light or red reflector between 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes after sunrise
    • bikes may display a rear flashing light at any time
    • riding on sidewalks is subject to municipal by-laws, so varies from city to city
    • helmets are mandatory under 16; optional for adults

    Let me know if anything is wrong or if there are other issues that should be mentioned.

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