• Motorcycle Rules In Vancouver VI Tickets and
  • TJ Schneider

Motorcycle Rules In Vancouver VI Tickets and

This is from a few years back when I did a deeeeep dive into the rules of the road and went to battle with the VPD and members of the City Gov. 



We have been doing our best to find out what is and what isn't legal in Vancouver for motorcycles. May 7th I spoke with Sgt Jim Fiddler of the VPD to talk to him about... well pretty much everything related to motorcycles and the tickets that start rolling in this time of year. We talked about Motorcycles being targeted, At first he laughed this idea off, saying that everyone is feeling like their civil liberties are being infringed upon, everyone is complaining. He did go on to say though that YES, MOTORCYCLES ARE TARGETED this time of year as more and more fair-weather riders pull motorcycles out of the garage. The target is intended to make sure that all these bikes that are ridden only a few time a year are in proper working order. He also said that they are checking for motorcycles licenses. With an expected 30% of riders being pulled over not having their full and proper license.. This gives them the right to "Just check" Jim went on to say that VPD is watching for small offenses in order to hand out larger one. VI tickets ( which he says are issuable by any VPD officer) are not disputable, they don't count towards any kind of revenue generating plan for the city, They are simply in place to discourage riders. They figure, hand out enough of those... the motorcycles will go away. Small offenses they're watching for include. -Rolling right turns on reds -Rolling stop signs -Failure to signal we have even seen "insufficient mirror" being cause for bikes being pulled over. When asked about riders being randomly pulled over, Sgt Fiddler stated that " the rider needs to be in the act of doing something illegal to be pulled over" again this can be something as small as failure to signal, or improper license plate mounting or lighting. Jim said that if someone has an issue with why they were pulled over, that individual needs to dispute the ticket. Every ticket has the info on the back of how to do this. He also said that if the conduct of the officer is out of line, aggressive, threatening, or in any way makes you feel that you were put in a dangerous position that you must report it. All matters such as these need to go through the proper channels. Sgt Fiddler was pretty forth coming saying that "people don't understand the legalities of making modifications to their motorcycles" and that "an officer is not going to let you know what is and what isn't wrong with what you are doing when he issues a ticket." he said "the laws are very black and white, it's illegal or it's not" I told him that I have looked at the Motor Vehicles act, which actually has very little info , or is very difficult to navigate when trying to find out the rules of the road to which he responded " If you can read, the info is out there, you can visit any ICBC and they will have the info for you, and that through the ICBC drive safe that you can find all the info I was looking for. I called ICBC, The info is not on their site, You have to go directly to CVSE, who I have also called and will speak to on Tuesday when the main man is back from a short holiday. I've spent a good amount of my time looking up the rules and regulations in the Motor Vehicle Acts, Motor Vehicle Act Regulations section of the CVSE site and this is what I learned. Plates basically you need to have a plate that is mounted so that the numbers are horizontal at the back of your bike that is illuminated by white light, free of any obstruction. Vertical Side mount plates are not legal. Section 3.011 Number plates issued for a vehicle under the Commercial Transport Act or Motor Vehicle Act must be attached (a) one plate to the front and one plate to the rear of the vehicle, if 2 number plates are issued for a vehicle, and (b) to the rear of the vehicle, if a single number plate is issued for a vehicle. Section 3.02 A number plate shall at all times be securely fastened in a horizontal position to the vehicle for which it is issued Section 3.03 A number plate must be kept entirely unobstructed and free from dirt or foreign material, so that the numbers and letters on it may be plainly seen and read at all times and so that the numbers and letters may be accurately photographed using a speed monitoring device or traffic light safety device prescribed under section 83.1 of the Act. [en. B.C. Reg. 185/96, s. 1; am. B.C. Reg. 215/99, App. 1, s. 1.] Section 4.16 also deals with Plate issues (1) The rear plate of a vehicle must be illuminated by a lamp that is capable of displaying only white light so that the numbers on the plate are legible from a distance of 15 m to the rear of the vehicle. (2) The lamp required by subsection (1) (a) must illuminate whenever the headlamps or parking lamps are illuminated, and (b) must not project white light to the rear of the vehicle. [en. B.C. Reg. 476/98, s. 2.] Headlamaps Yup you need em.. but you knew that, you can have 1 or 2, but not 3. You can use a single or Dual filament bulb, if you use a dual with high and low beam, you need to have an indicator that shows when your high beam is on. Section 4.05 (4) A motorcycle must be equipped with at least one and not more than 2 headlamps. (5) if manufactured after Dec 31 1974 the head lamp must automatically turn on and remain on when the engine of the motorcycle is running. Section 4.06 (2) All high beam lights must have a high beam light indicator. Single Beam Headlamps are also allowed on motorcycles under section 4.07 that states Despite section 4.06, a Motor vehicle, including a motorcycle may be equipped with single beam headlamp instead of a multiple beam headlamp if a) the illuminated headlamps reveal an object at a distance of 60m, and b) each headlamp is mounted and directed so that the high intensity portion of the beam is at a distance of 8m from the headlamp, at least 12 cm below the height of the headlamp and, at a distance of 25m from the lamp, not higher than 1.06m from the road surface Signal Lights Signal lights is pretty easy.. it wasn't until Jan 1973 that motorcycle manufactures produced all motorcycles with signal lights as standard equipment. That means if your bike is Pre 1973, you can get away with running no signals. If your bike is after 1973, you are supposed to have them. A lot of people like to use integrated tail/ signal lights.. by the law these are not legal, there needs to be 10cm of space measured between the centre of the tail light and the centre of the turn signal.. most times if you have a signal a cop won't fuck you around too much with this but they can. If you don't have signal lights use section 171 and your right to use hand signals. Page 87 of the ICBC motorcycle hand book shows this, and states that Motorcycles must use their left hand when when hand signalling. Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 11.25.00 PM Section 4.13 (1) A vehicle may be equipped and mounted with (a) a lamp type turn signal system, or (b) a semaphore turn signal device, functionally equivalent to original equipment supplied by the vehicle manufacturer or of a type or make approved by the director. (2) A lamp type turn signal system must (a) have 2 lamps, mounted on the front of the vehicle, that are capable of displaying flashes of white or amber light which are visible to the front, (b) have 2 lamps, mounted on the rear of the vehicle, that are capable of displaying flashes of red or amber light which are visible to the rear, (c) be visible on each side of the vehicle at a distance of 100 m in normal sunlight at an angle of 45° from the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, and (d) include a tell-tale lamp which gives a clear indication that the system is activated. (3) During the time specified in section 4.01, a semaphore turn signal device must be capable of illumination by light or reflection visible from a distance of 100 m. (5) A turn signal lamp must be mounted on the vehicle at a height of not less than 38 cm and not more than 1.83 m. (9) The centre of the front signal lamps must be at least 10 cm from the edge of the low beam headlamps [en. B.C. Reg. 476/98, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 135/2003, s.1.] section 171 states (1) Subject to subsection (2), if a signal is required a driver must give it by means of (a) his or her hand and arm, (b) a signal lamp of a type approved by the director, or (c) a mechanical device of a type approved by the director. Stop lamps You're gonna want a tail light.. I think everyone knows that. Section 4.17 (2) Despite subsection (1), (a) a motorcycle may be equipped with only one stop lamp, and (b) a vehicle manufactured before January 1, 1959 may be equipped with only one stop lamp. Reflective devices Section 4.21 (1) A vehicle must be equipped with at least one red reflector at the rear of the vehicle, either separate or incorporated into a tail lamp, that is mounted at a height of not less than 38 cm and not more than 1.83 m. (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a vehicle manufactured before January 1, 1958 Driver or operator to permit vehicle brake inspection on request This has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever seen, Its sorta like saying.. I want to see you do something I know will cause you to crash. Section 5.05 (1) Every person driving or operating a vehicle or combination of vehicles upon any highway shall, upon request of any peace officer or constable of the Provincial police force or the police force of any municipality, permit such peace officer or constable to inspect and test the brakes with which the vehicle or combination of vehicles is equipped and, on the direction of the officer or constable, shall operate the vehicle or combination of vehicles as directed by him for the purpose of the inspection and testing of the brakes. (2) No person shall test the brake performance of a vehicle or combination of vehicles at a speed in excess of 40 km/h. [am. B.C. Regs. 343/77; 135/2003, s. 2.] Brakes Brakes required on all wheels, that bitchen spool hub you have is not legal. Section 6.06 (1) Every bus, truck, truck tractor and commercial trailer shall be equipped with a service brake on each wheel. In another section of the Motor Vehicle act, Brakes comes up again. Section 183-8 states that a vehicle must have A BRAKE that will allow the braked wheels to skid on dry level clean pavement. Brake connection is covered in Section 25 Motorcycles — The brake cable of a motorcycle must not be frayed (one broken strand). A motorcycle with brake adjusters must be equipped with a method of locking the brake adjusters. The brake cables of a motorcycle shall not be routed in such a manner that they may be restricted between components of the motorcycle. The brake pedals of a motorcycle shall be accessible for adequate leverage and safe operating conditions and must be accompanied with a footrest. The brake levers and pedals of a motorcycle shall be free to return when pressure is removed from them. [en. B.C. Reg. 658/76, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 452/82, s. 6.] Horn Section 7.02 (1) Subject to subsection (2), every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a horn which will emit sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of 60 m, but no horn shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle. Section 8 A motor vehicle must be equipped with a horn as required by section 7.02 of the regulations. The horn must be firmly mounted on the vehicle. The horn control must provide a positive control over the sound emitted. A cycle of sound must be interruptible. A horn must not produce a musical or any other sound not normally associated with a warning device. The horn control must be readily accessible to the driver. Muffler Section 7.03 (1) A motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine shall be equipped with an exhaust muffler consisting of a series of pipes or chambers which ensures that the exhaust gases from the engine are cooled and expelled without excessive noise. Cut-outs prohibited (2) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine when the muffler with which the vehicle is equipped is cut out or disconnected from the engine. Part removal prohibited (3) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine equipped with a muffler from which has been removed any baffle plate or other part. Alteration prohibited (4) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine equipped with a muffler the exhaust outlet of which has been opened or widened. Noise increase or flames prohibited (5) No person shall drive or operate a motor vehicle propelled by an internal combustion engine equipped with a muffler or exhaust system to which is attached any device which increases the noise of the expulsion of the gases from the engine or allows a flame to be emitted from the exhaust system. Section 22 and 27 also deals with Mufflers Section 22 A vehicle shall be equipped with an exhaust muffler which complies with section 7.03 of the regulations. An exhaust system shall not have loose or leaking joints, seams or holes. A muffler shall not have loose interior baffles or patches. The exhaust system and its elements must be securely fastened. The exhaust system shall not be located so that a person may be burned when entering or leaving the vehicle. No part of an exhaust system may pass through a passenger compartment. An exhaust system must not discharge excessive fumes or smoke. Flexible hose used in an exhaust system shall be of a heavy duty type acceptable to the inspector. [en. B.C. Reg. 658/76, s. 2.] Section 27 A motor vehicle shall be equipped with an exhaust muffler which complies with section 7.03 of the regulations. The opinion of an inspector as to whether the engine and exhaust noise is greater than that made by other vehicles in good condition of comparable size, horsepower, piston displacement or compression ratio shall determine whether exhaust gases are expelled with excessive noise. When tested in an inspection station, the vehicle engine, any auxiliary engine and exhaust level shall not exceed Table 3 standards. Motorcycle 91 DBA. Motorcycle handlebars and head bearing. Keep your hands below your shoulders, technically no part of the bar can be above your shoulders, just sit tall if they ask to check. Section 7.14 No person shall drive or operate on a highway a motorcycle unless the handlebars of the motorcycle are (a) firmly secured, and (b) so secured that the maximum height to which the handlebars extend is not higher than the top of the driver's shoulders when the driver's seat is occupied. [en. B.C. Reg. 46/67, s. 15; am. B.C. Regs. 343/77; 174/91.] Motorcycles — The handlebar of a motorcycle shall not be cracked, deformed, improperly aligned or flex excessively and shall be mounted in the designed manner. Handlebars of a motorcycle shall be constructed of at least 0.060 thick steel tubing or of equivalent strength. The wheel bearings of a motorcycle should have no perceptible movement unless within the manufacturer's specifications. The steering head bearing of a motorcycle should not show perceptible movement unless within the manufacturer's specifications. The steering head bearing of a motorcycle should not show perceptible play or roughness or should not be tightened to the extent that steering is affected. [en. B.C. Reg. 658/76, s. 2; am. B.C. Regs. 343/77; 452/82, s. 2.] Wheel alignment Section 18 Motorcycles — The swing arm bushing of a motorcycle shall not be worn beyond the manufacturer's specification which would affect the safe operation of the vehicle. The longitudinal wheel alignment of a 2-wheel motorcycle shall be such that the rear wheel centreline must pass within 12.5 mm of the front wheel centreline when measured at a point directly below the front axle. [en. B.C. Reg. 658/76, s. 2; am. B.C. Reg. 343/77.] Tires, wheels No Cracks , no missing spokes or damage Motorcycles — The wheels of a motorcycle shall not, when measured at the rim, have an eccentricity or wobble in excess of 5 mm. [en. B.C. Reg. 658/76, s. 2; am. B.C. Regs. 343/77; 452/82, s. 3; 206/96, s. 1; 364/96.] Pedal Reserve Section 24 Motorcycles — A motorcycle shall not have an angle between the cam operating lever and the actuating cable or rod in excess of 110° when in the fully applied position. MISC arts for Motorcycles Chain. The chain of a motorcycle shall be adjusted to less than 40 mm of play when measured at the centreline between the sprockets. A motorcycle, when originally equipped, shall be equipped with a chain guard which is not broken or cracked and which is reasonably equivalent to the original device. Passengers If the motorcycle is designed to carry a passenger, it shall be equipped with a footrest for the passenger's use on each side of the machine. Stand. A motorcycle shall be equipped with a side or centre stand which shall not be cracked or broken and shall be structurally adequate to support the machine. The side or centre stand of a motorcycle when placed in the stored position shall remain in that position. [en. B.C. Reg. 658/76, s. 2; am. B.C. Regs. 343/77; 452/82, s. 9; 167/2006, s. (b).] So far through all of this, the best way to sum it up is , if your bike came with something on it standard from the manufacturer, and you take it off , legally, it needs to be replaced with something that works as good as the original. I'm assuming this is why I can't find anything on things like fenders. It would be really amazing if Canada would put something together like this, outlining all the rules state by state, or even better if the CVSE or VPD would do something like the New York State Police and do this Here are some stats and other interesting or funny articles I've found Ontario , Why I don't Ride Anymore , Dying to Ride , This ones good. More Laws for Motorcycles in the Motor Vehicle Act Parking Section 189 Helmets and Seating A lot of people think that the PoPo need a warrant to check your helmet... nope they can check on the spot, they just need to tell you to provide it to them and if they want to, they can take it away. DOT is the standard for BC since June 1 of 2012. In 2012 they also said that everyone on a bike needs to have their own seat and their own set of pegs.. No more wrapping the old lady around your waist straight on the fender. Section 194 (1) A person must not operate a motorcycle on a highway unless seated astride the driver's seat of the motorcycle. (2) A person, other than the operator, must not ride on a motorcycle on a highway unless (a) the motorcycle is designed and equipped to carry more than one person, (b) the other person rides (i) astride the permanent and regular seat if designed for 2 persons, behind the operator, (ii) astride another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle behind the seat occupied by the operator, or (iii) on or in another seat firmly attached to one side of the motorcycle, and (c) in the case of paragraph (b) (i) or (ii), the other person has both of his or her feet positioned on the foot pegs or floorboards of the motorcycle. (3) A person must not operate or ride as a passenger on a motorcycle on a highway if the person is not wearing a motorcycle safety helmet that (a) is designated in regulations under subsection (6) (a) as an approved motorcycle safety helmet, or (b) meets the standards and specifications prescribed under subsection (6) (b). (4) A person who is operating a motorcycle must not permit another person under the age of 16 to ride on the motorcycle in contravention of (a) subsection (2), or (b) subsection (3). (5) Despite subsections (2) and (3), a person under the age of 16 who contravenes subsection (2) or (3) does not commit an offence. (6) The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations as follows: (a) designating a helmet as an approved motorcycle safety helmet for the purposes of this section; (b) prescribing standards and specifications for motorcycle safety helmets; (c) exempting a person or class of persons from the requirements of subsection (3) and setting out conditions for the exemption. (7) Without limiting section 210 (7), regulations under subsection (6) of this section may incorporate by reference, with or without modification, in whole or in part, a standard or specification or an approval, certification or designation associated with a standard or specification of or published by a national or international standards association, as amended from time to time before or after the making of the regulation. (8) Without a warrant, a peace officer may (a) demand that a person produce a motorcycle safety helmet to allow the peace officer to determine whether the motorcycle safety helmet complies with subsection (3), and (b) seize the motorcycle safety helmet if, on production of the motorcycle safety helmet, the peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has contravened subsection (3) or (4). (9) A person commits an offence if the person obstructs or attempts to obstruct a peace officer acting under the authority of subsection (8). (10) Except when overtaking and passing other motorcycles, more than 2 operators of motorcycles must not operate their motorcycles side by side in the same direction in the same traffic lane.

Other laws and fines

Motorcyclists are over-represented in road trauma statistics. In British Columbia motorcycles are estimated to make up about three per cent of insured vehicles, yet motorcycles are involved in approximately ten per cent of road fatalities. Between 1996 and 2010, motorcycle fatalities increased 57 per cent. The fatality rate for young drivers under 25 years of age is on average 15 times higher than drivers over 25 years of age. Motorcyclists are considered vulnerable road users for a number of reasons:
  • Motorcycles have only two points of contact with the road, requiring skillful control on the part of the driver to maintain balance, speed and traction to prevent collisions;
  • Motorcycles are small and narrow, so other road users have more difficulty seeing motorcycles and estimating their distance and speed;
  • Motorcycles offer much less impact protection than being inside a passenger vehicle.
  • Some motorcycles are built for speed and performance levels significantly higher than automobiles.

Motorcycle Safety Laws

On June 1, 2012, amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act and supporting regulations will be brought into force. These changes to the law are as follows:
  • All motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers in British Columbia must wear a motorcycle safety helmet that meets designated safety standards.
  • All motorcyclists and passengers may be required to produce their helmets on demand to a peace officer.
  • The operator of a motorcycle must be seated astride the driver's seat.
  • Passengers must be seated behind the operator, astride the passenger's seat with feet on foot pegs or floorboards, or be properly seated in a side car.
  • The motorcycle operator is responsible for ensuring any passengers younger than 16 are properly helmeted and seated.

Protecting Your Head – Helmet Requirements

Motorcycle helmets can reduce the likelihood of a crash fatality and are also found to be very effective in preventing brain injuries. In British Columbia, motorcycle drivers and passengers are required to wear a motorcycle safety helmet that meets one of the following safety standards (and the helmet needs to display the proper certification label):
  1. DOT: conformance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218; Motorcycle helmets (United States of America), also known as FMVSS 218 (49CFR571.218).
  2. Snell M2005, M2010 or M2015: certification in accordance with the Snell Memorial Foundation 2005, 2010 or 2015 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use with Motorcycles and Other Motorized Vehicles.
  3. ECE: approved in accordance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Regulation No. 22.
The safety helmet needs to display the proper certification label. Detailed requirements and label images are provided below. Standards for helmet safety are set by a series of tests performed on these critical elements:
  • Impact management – how well the helmet protects against collisions with large objects.
  • Helmet position stability – whether the helmet will stay in place during an impact.
  • Straps – whether the chin straps and hardware are strong enough to hold the helmet on during impact.
  • Extent of protection – the area of the head protected by the helmet.
A motorcycle helmet that meets these standards contains a rigid head covering that consists of a strong, stiff outer shell and a crushable liner. The stiff outer shell must protect the head by distributing the impact throughout the surface of the helmet, and the crushable liner must protect the head by absorbing the energy of the impact. Compliance with other standards – such as Canada Standards Association (CSA), British Standards Institute (BSI) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) – while not prohibited, does not mean your helmet is legal. British Columbia has not adopted these standards because they are not available to the public free of charge. The Province is committed to ensuring the standards required by law not only represent the cutting edge of safety industry technical knowledge, but are also available to all British Columbians at no cost. Full-face helmets and visors are not required and riders are free to choose any helmet colour they prefer. However, eye protection and brightly-coloured helmets are strongly recommended to help prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities. Uncertified, novelty beanies do not meet the requirements.

Police Inspections at the Roadside

If police have probable cause to suspect the motorcycle driver or passenger are not using an approved helmet, police are authorized to inspect helmets at the roadside to ensure they meet specified requirements. Inspected helmets that do not meet the approved standards are subject to seizure. If the motorcycle can’t be parked legally or safely after such helmet seizure, a peace officer has authority to have the vehicle towed at the owner’s expense. The power to seize helmets may be exercised only when the officer has reason to believe a helmet does not meet regulatory requirements, which can be determined by inspecting the helmet for safety certification labels. During such a seizure, peace officers are subject to existing procedures required under the Offence Act which ensure fairness regarding how the property is handled and determining who retains the property after any relevant court proceedings or processes.

Sitting Safely – Seating Requirements

Under the motorcycle safety laws the seating requirements are as follows:
  • The operator of a motorcycle must be seated astride the driver’s seat.
  • Passengers must be seated behind the operator astride the passenger’s seat with their feet on foot pegs or the floorboards at all times (even when the motorcycle is stopped – e.g., at an intersection), or be properly seated in a side car.
  • As the motorcycle operator, you are responsible to ensure passengers younger than 16 are properly seated. Any passengers, including children, who can’t reach the foot pegs or floorboards are not permitted to ride as passengers on your motorcycle.
Image below shows placement of feet on foot pegs.
Placement of feet on foot pedals.

Motorcycle-related Fines and Penalty Points

Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) Section Description Fine Points
194(1) Operate motorcycle – not on seat $121 2
194(2)(a) Passenger unlawfully on motorcycle $109 0
194(2)(b) Motorcycle passenger not lawfully seated $109 0
194(2)(c) Fail to use foot pegs or floorboards $109 0
194(3) Ride motorcycle without required helmet $138 0
194(4)(a) Permit passenger under 16 to be unlawfully seated $109 2
194(4)(b) Permit passenger under 16 to ride without a helmet $138 0
194(9) Obstruct a peace officer $276 0
194(10) Operate motorcycle more than two abreast $109 2
MVA Regulations Section Description Fine Points
Fine Increase 3.02 Improper Display of Plate $230 0
Fine Increase 3.03 Illegal Plate $230 0
NOTE: Violation of seating laws will result in vehicle impoundment and fines. For information on driving infraction impoundments see Notice of Impoundment information on the Vehicle Impoundment page on this website.
  • TJ Schneider