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Key Findings

Archived Backgrounder

Key Findings

Backgrounder

Ministry of Transportation

The Safe Integration of Electric Low Speed Vehicles On Ontario's Roads in Mixed Traffic Report, 2008 is a study conducted by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada's Centre for Surface Transportation Technology to determine what - if any - additional safety features are necessary for LSVs to be safely driven on Ontario roads. A summary of the NRC's report findings is below. LSV Safety Features

The NRC report expressed safety concerns including:

  • Most LSVs available on the market today are not designed for use on public roads and are not manufactured with many safety features that would protect occupants in a traffic collision.
  • Large differences in travelling speeds between LSVs and other vehicles may increase traffic congestion and increase collision rates.
  • Other road users are likely to expect LSVs to perform like typical passenger cars on public roads, which may increase the potential for collisions.
  • The lack of noise generated by LSVs may result in increased collisions with both pedestrians and cyclists.
  • It is not possible to correctly install a child safety seat in an LSV.
  • There may be a substantially higher driver injury and fatality rate among LSV operators due to the relatively low mass of LSVs compared to other vehicles on public roads.
Making LSVs Safe For Ontario

The NRC report recommended that LSVs used on public roads in mixed traffic be equipped, at minimum, with those features required by Quebec in its recently announced LSV pilot project such as:

  • Windshield wipers
  • Windshield defogger and heating system
  • Doors
  • Three-point seat belts
  • Slow-moving vehicle identification emblem.

In addition, the NRC recommended that Ontario consider other safety features, including:

  • Seat belt anchors
  • Brakes on all four wheels
  • Federal standards for occupant protections
  • Safety glass on all windows

To minimize safety risks associated with integrating LSVs onto public roads in Ontario, the study made recommendations, including:

  • LSVs should only be driven on roads with a speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour or less.
  • Infants and young children should not be permitted to ride in an LSV.
  • Click here to view the full report (available in English only).

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