People who travel to Quebec and warmer States along with those who watch hip hop and rap videos may well have seen a unique genre performance vehicle called the T-Rex or its competitor, the Polaris Slingshot, which have three wheels . A favourite of modern music artists, the high performance T-Rex is proudly built in Canada. This may come as a surprise to many Ontario motorists, who have never seen a T-Rex or a slingshot on the roads. That is because the vehicles have not been allowed on Ontario roads.
On March 1, the Ministry of Transportation(MTO) introduced a 10 year pilot project to allow the operation of three wheeled vehicles to determine whether they are a fit with other vehicles on the road, current licensing and existing rules of the road. The project brings Ontario into line with Québec, British Columbia, Manitoba and the Yukon where these vehicles are already legal.
All of this may be confusing to some, who are used to seeing three wheeled machines traveling on the road in this province. The one that is most visible is the Can-Am Spyder. Also built in Canada, by Bombardier, the Can-Am features three wheels, but the operator sits on a saddle, similar to a motorcycle and steers with the use of handlebars.
MTO spokesperson Ajay Woozageer says that machines like the Can-Am Spyder are called motor tricycles. “Three-wheeled vehicles (TWV) are a separate, prescribed federal class of vehicles from motor tricycles. There are various distinctions between TWVs and motor-tricycles, including, but not limited to, motor tricycles have steering handlebars and the occupants sit astride. While three-wheeled vehicles have a steering wheel and the occupants sit in conventional passenger car-type seats.”
I could swear that I used to see Morgan 3-wheelers running around Toronto in the early Eighties, which made me wonder if somewhere along the lines the rules had been changed.
To further complicate things, Woozageer says that car based models which have been sold here in the past, such as the Morgan three wheeler, fall under a different set of rules even though they have three wheels. “The Morgan and TWVs are two distinct classes of vehicles. The Morgan is classified as a passenger vehicle (with three wheels), whereas TWVs (captured under our pilot regulation) have a class of their own.”
My guess is that it has something to do with the Moggie being front engined. Either that, or politics.
Under the new laws, TWVs can be operated with a regular G licence, but are registered as a motorcycle. Even though occupants are in a car-like seat and are wearing seat belts, a motorcycle helmet must be worn.
Sadly, the MTO thinks they are being progressive, when really they are behind the times!
MTO press release
As of March 1, 2016, Ontario is introducing a new 10-year pilot program to allow three-wheeled vehicles on Ontario roads.
Three-wheeled vehicles are a distinct class of vehicle separate from passenger vehicles, motor tricycles and motorcycles. The pilot is intended to:
assess the ability of three-wheeled vehicles to safely integrate with other vehicle types
determine whether existing rules of the road are adequate
consider alternative operating and licensing requirements
The pilot brings the province in line with other Canadian jurisdictions – Québec, British Columbia, Manitoba and the Yukon – which already permit three-wheeled vehicles on their roads. It also supports innovation in the auto manufacturing sector and gives consumers more choice in how they travel.
Only federally approved, three-wheeled vehicles designed for on-road use are permitted to participate in the pilot. Drivers of federally approved three-wheeled vehicles will need to hold a full G class licence or higher and must wear a helmet.
Ensuring Ontario’s place as a world leader in the emerging vehicles and transportation technology sectors is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirementQUICK FACTS
- Drivers with a valid Ontario G class licence are allowed to operate three-wheeled vehicles.
- Current Ontario Highway Traffic Act rules of the road and penalties apply to drivers/owners of three-wheeled vehicles.
- Three-wheeled vehicles are registered as motorcycles and the corresponding fee is applied.
- You can register a three-wheeled vehicle at ServiceOntario.
- Three-wheeled vehicles are subject to Ontario’s mandatory seat belt requirements and the use of an approved motorcycle safety helmet.
- Passengers such as infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers to primary grade are not allowed in three-wheeled vehicles.
- Three-wheeled vehicles cannot be used to take an Ontario driver’s licence road test.
- No sidecars or trailers are permitted on three-wheeled vehicles.
FILED UNDER: AUTO NEWS