Three-Wheeled Vehicles

Ontario launched a new pilot to permit three-wheeled vehicles (TWVs) on Ontario’s roads on
March 1, 2016.

Why is Ontario permitting three-wheeled vehicles?

The pilot is intended to assess these vehicles over a ten-year period of time in order to examine their ability to safely integrate with other vehicle types to determine whether existing rules of the road are adequate and to and to consider operating and licensing requirements.

About the pilot:

  • Only federally approved three-wheeled vehicles designed for on-road use are permitted to participate in the pilot;
  • The pilot will run for 10 years;
  • Current Highway Traffic Act (HTA) rules of the road and penalties apply to the driver/vehicle owner;
  • Operators are required to have a full G class driver’s licence or higher;
  • For the purposes of vehicle registration, three-wheeled vehicles are registered as motorcycles and pay the corresponding fee;
  • Three-wheeled vehicles are subject to Ontario’s mandatory seat belt requirements and the use of an approved motorcycle safety helmet;
  • Passengers who are classified as infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers or primary grade children are not permitted;
  • Three-wheeled vehicles are prohibited from being used for an Ontario driver’s licence road test;
  • No sidecars or trailers are permitted for use on a three-wheeled vehicle.

Safety features of three-wheeled vehicles

Three-wheeled vehicles have fewer safety features than passenger cars.

While the physical design of three-wheeled vehicles may resemble many safety features of passenger cars (e.g. seat belts, steering wheel, pedals), three-wheeled vehicles are not designed to satisfy the requirements of passenger cars. The safety regulations for three-wheeled vehicles used on roads are set out by the federal government in its Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations Schedule III.

This strict pilot framework encourages innovation in Ontario’s automotive sector while maintaining road safety. 

For full details of the pilot project, please see Ontario Regulation 28/16.

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