Low-speed vehicles are fully electric vehicles with a maximum speed between 32 and 40 km/h. They have limited access to the road network.
As long as they are duly registered, three types of low-speed vehicles are authorized for operation on certain public roadways:
Low-speed vehicles (LSV) must be registered and, if they comply with the Regulation respecting low-speed vehicles, they can travel on public roadways where the posted speed limit is no more than 50 km/h.
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The Highway Safety Code specifies that they low-speed vehicles can have no more than four seats and must bear the compliance label required by Transport Canada for this vehicle category.
Due to their limited speed and the insufficiency of safety standards that apply to LSVs compared to other vehicles, LSVs cannot always be used safely on the road network. They were first intended for use in closed environments and they are not designed to travel alongside the heavier and faster vehicles that use the road network. This is why their use in Canada is limited.
In Québec, operating an LSV on certain public roadways is authorized, as long as the vehicle meets the additional standards prescribed by regulation that apply specifically to this type of vehicle.
The Regulation respecting low-speed vehicles introduces rules that supplement those prescribed by Transport Canada with regard to LSV equipment and performance. These additional standards applicable in Québec apply only to vehicles that are intended for travel on certain public roadways and cover braking capacity, driver visibility and vehicle perceptibility, and occupant safety in the event of a collision. The standards ensure minimum safety levels for the occupants of LSVs as well as other road users. For safety reasons, it is prohibited by law to carry children who are less than 145 cm tall or who are under 9 years of age in an LSV.
Low-speed vehicles that were already authorized for road use following the pilot project that was carried out from 2008 to 2013 are not covered by the rules set out in the Regulation. As a result, their owners do not have to ensure their vehicles comply with requirements other than those that were already applicable. However, they must obey the traffic rules that have been added to the Highway Safety Code.
With regard to low-speed vehicles used solely off public roadways (in closed environments or on private property), compliance with Transport Canada standards is sufficient. Such vehicles do not have to comply with the additional standards prescribed by the Regulation. However, they must be registered for off-road use.
Last update: January 21, 2022