The District of Sicamous is opening its streets to low-speed electric vehicles.
At its April 28 meeting, district council approved a bylaw allowing the use of zero-emission vehicles within Sicamous.
The bylaw pertains to four-wheeled vehicles powered by electric motors, capable of travelling 32 kilometres per hour (but no more than 40) in a distance of 1.6 km on a paved, level surface.
Vehicles supported by the bylaw must meet or exceed federal standards under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (MVSA) for a low-speed vehicle and include a decal indicating they are compliant with the Act.
According to the bylaw, supported vehicles may be driven on any road in the district with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less and, where applicable, only in the right-hand lane except when making a left turn or when passing another vehicle.
Council asked district staff to create such a bylaw in March 2021.
At the time, Coun. Gord Bushell told the Eagle Valley News the vehicles in mind would be similar to golf carts, but with safety features such as turn signals. He said such carts would be well suited to parts of Sicamous due to its largely flat topography, and areas where the speed limits are low. He said the electric carts could be a zero-emission alternative to residents’ other vehicles for short trips around town.
According to ICBC, the vehicles would be licensed with regular passenger vehicle plates, and would be allowed to cross highways but only to proceed on roads on which they’re allowed.
Asked at the April 28 meeting if three-wheeled vehicles might also be accepted under the bylaw, Bushell suggested they could, provided they fall under the same MVSA standards and include the decal indicating their compliance.
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