Vehicles used to teach driving, or driving school vehicles, must be equipped with a passenger-side brake pedal and, if applicable, a passenger-side clutch pedal.
What the law says
Under section 214 of the Highway Safety Code, a vehicle that has undergone alterations which may, in particular, reduce its stability or braking capacity, may not be put into operation. However, such a vehicle may legally be put into operation if its alterations have been inspected and approved by the SAAQ.
Approval by the SAAQ
The installation and operation of a dual pedal system requires using components of the original braking system. This could affect braking capacity and must therefore be approved by the SAAQ before road use.
To obtain an approval, the vehicle must undergo a modified-vehicle inspection and a mechanical inspection. SAAQ road vehicle inspection agents offer these services for a fee.
Registering an automobile equipped with a dual pedal system for the first time for teaching purposes
Since June 2015, the approval of the SAAQ is required before such a vehicle can be used for teaching purposes. The vehicle must be brought to an agent, who will conduct a modified-vehicle inspection and send information concerning the modification to the SAAQ. In order to reduce waiting periods and costs, the mechanical inspection that must usually be conducted at the same time as the modified-vehicle inspection is not required if the vehicle is new (first registration ever). The SAAQ’s approval will take the form of a certificate of inspection which must accompany the vehicle at all times to facilitate subsequent periodic mechanical inspections. The modified-vehicle inspection is required only once, unless other major modifications are made to the vehicle.
VEHICLE WITH A DUAL PEDAL SYSTEM INSTALLED BEFORE JUNE 2015
Approval of the SAAQ is not required. During the periodic mechanical inspection, the agent will inspect the second pedal based on the same criteria that is used to inspect the original pedals but will not require a certificate of inspection. If defects or potentially dangerous modifications are noted, the agent will immediately inform the SAAQ for analysis and processing. At that point, the agent may send the vehicle owner specific instructions for the vehicle.
For any information relating to the approval process, please contact your inspection agent.
Best practices for installing a dual pedal system
Choose a quality system that is adapted to the vehicle. Important: some vehicles are not well suited to the installation of a dual pedal system.
Choose a competent and experienced installer who will follow the recommendations of the system manufacturer.
If no installation notice is provided or if the system is hand-crafted, follow the standards (see the “Installation” section of this webpage) and best practices applied by the major automobile manufacturers. Here are the important elements:
The application of force required on the instructor-side brake and clutch pedals must be similar to the force required on the vehicle’s original brake pedal. Furthermore, the force required on the original pedal must remain the same as before the addition of the second brake pedal.
The movementand travel of the brake pedal and clutch pedal must be natural and similar to those of the vehicle’s original pedal system. For example, on a standard brake pedal, you must push forward. If the new pedal requires you to push down towards the floor, the installation will be rejected because the movement is not natural and could compromise your safety in the event of an emergency.
When choosing a new vehicle for driving instruction purposes, pay particular attention to the vehicle’s compatibility with the installation of a dual pedal system. If necessary, contact the recognized associations (AQTr, DSAQ) for more information on the vehicle models that are ideal for adaptation.
THE TWO MOST COMMON TYPES OF SYSTEMS
Cables and pulleys The cable must be pulled in the same direction as the travel of the brake pedal, in the straightest line possible. An installation that does not allow the movement of the cable to be in line with the axis of the pedal must be changed.
Rods and levers The rods and levers used in this type of system must not encroach on the driver’s space or interfere with the movement of the driver’s legs when he or she is driving or entering the vehicle.
The adjustment of the dual pedal system must be carried out according to the installation guide provided with the system, where applicable.
To install a component in the vehicle, graded locknuts and bolts with sufficiently large washers (minimum ISO 8.8 or SAE Grade 5) must be used, regardless of what was provided by the system’s manufacturer.
It is important to always use bolts that are long enough and suitable for their intended use. Corrosion-resistant bolts are preferred.
The bolts, washers and locknuts must be installed flat on the component in order to ensure adequate and lasting tightness. The thread should protrude from the nut by several turns.
Components must be installed directly on the vehicle’s metal floorboard. For example, any carpet and insulation must be removed to install the new components. However, it is possible to install a solid chock between the component and the floor, if necessary.
Securely install the components of the dual pedal system in places that are easily accessible for inspection and maintenance. For durability and stability, here is the minimum number of mounting components necessary for each system:
attachment of the cable to the pedal lever, driver’s side: 2 mounting components
attachment of the cable: 2 cable clamps installed so that the U-shaped piece is on the side of the dead line
Rod and lever system
rod installation, instructor’s side: 3 mounting components
rod installation on the pedal lever, driver’s side: 2 mounting components
The components of the dual pedal system must not be modified or altered under any circumstances.
The original pedal system components (pedal, pedal lever, pivot points, etc.) may not be welded, cut, perforated, or altered in any other way. Use the bolted anchorages to connect the system components to the vehicle.
The cable’s alignment with the brake pedal lever must remain as straight as possible so that the cable on the lever is pulled in the same direction in which the pedal travels. The placement of the base of the pulley is therefore extremely important. An angle that is open or closed, even slightly, will result in greater cable tension, will make the pedal more difficult to use, and will require more maintenance.
If the cable is too long and requires being cut, the end of the cable must be protected over several centimetres using a heat-shrink sleeve.
The added pedals must be covered with an anti-slip surface.A dual pedal system may be taken from a used vehicle. In that case, that vehicle’s identification number must be indicated in the file. The installation of the system must comply with the rules applicable to new systems.
Any assembly that does not meet the above conditions may requirethe inspection of a competent engineer, at your expense.
The operation (position, travel, required force) of the instructor-side pedals must be ergonomical.
The original pedals and the added pedals must function normally and smoothly (required force and braking power).
No interference (contact, friction) with another component (accelerator, heater component, console, floor, component of the dual pedal system, etc.) will be accepted.
When using the original pedals, the cable that is part of a cable and pulley system must not risk getting stuck in another component or escaping the grooves of the pulley when it becomes slack.
Brake lights must function normally once the dual pedal mechanism is installed; make sure the lights do not stay on when the brakes are not in use.
Inspection – Testing procedure
Perform a safe test of the instructor-side brake pedal by simulating an emergency stop while the vehicle is not in motion, with the engine running and the parking brake fully engaged. Maximum pressure (emergency stop) must be applied to the instructor-side brake pedal.
Repeat this test three times.
Once the test has been performed, check the condition of the components of the pedal systems on both sides to detect any anomaly, damage, deformation, etc.
During the tests, pay particular attention to any possible contact between the various components installed. The additional travel distance of the moving parts during an emergency stop could cause unwanted and dangerous contact.
PREPARE FOR YOUR INSPECTION
To avoid delays in the processing of your file at the SAAQ, you can simulate an inspection to ensure that all components required by the SAAQ are present, properly installed and functional in your driving school vehicle. This inspection can be carried out directly with your installer, and any corrections can be made quickly. To obtain the inspection list for driving school vehicle components, refer to the form Liste de vérification – Véhicule auto-école (PDF, 146 KB) (in French only).
If you have any questions, contact the Direction générale de l’expertise légale et de la sécurité des véhicules: