Low Speed Chase: Why Ontario Communities are Pursuing a New Kind of Vehicle

Original Article, J. Sherman, July 6, 2021

Image Source: M. Sonnenberg

There’s a new type of vehicle hitting the streets of Haldimand County, but Mayor Ken Hewitt doesn’t necessarily think locals will be excited to see it around town. The southern Ontario municipality’s first low-speed vehicle began cruising its more urban areas last month. Classified by Transport Canada as an electric vehicle with a top speed of 40 kilometres an hour, among other criteria, it’s a cross between a tiny car and a golf cart — and bylaw officers will be using it for routine enforcement trips. “If they do see this [LSV] coming around from bylaw, they probably don’t want to because it’s going to have a ticket attached to it,” Hewitt jokes about the newest addition to the southern Ontario county’s fleet.

Haldimand County is among the first in Ontario to embrace the tiny vehicles, but other local authorities are increasingly looking to green-light them on local roads. That’s thanks to a 10-year provincial pilot project, launched in 2017, that allows municipalities to pass bylaws to legalize LSVs on roads with speed limits of no more than 50 kilometres per hour, something Haldimand did on April 6.

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