Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance Update
United for a Barrier-Free Society for All People with Disabilities
Municipal Election Action Kit — Ask Candidates for City Council or Mayor Anywhere in Ontario to Pledge Not to Allow Electric Scooters in Your Community!
August 18, 2022
October 24, 2022 is the date of municipal elections in Ontario. Ontarians will vote for their next mayors and members of city council. Ontarians with disabilities need your help in this election.
More and more, people with disabilities are endangered by electric scooters racing silently at high speeds on sidewalks, roads and park paths around Ontario. These create twin dangers for people with disabilities, seniors, children and others.
A silent menace, e-scooters, appearing out of nowhere, are ridden on sidewalks in Ottawa and other cities that ban them from sidewalks. Uninsured, unlicensed, untrained, unhelmeted joy-riders, racing at 20 KPH, endanger the safety of innocent pedestrians, especially people who can’t see them coming or quickly dodge them. Left strewn on sidewalks, e-scooters have been tripping hazards for blind people, and an accessibility nightmare for wheelchair users.
There are news reports from around the world documenting very serious injuries that e-scooters have caused. Several major disability organizations, as well as several municipal accessibility advisory committees have called on city after city to not allow e-scooters, and to enforce any ban on them that is in place.
Yet despite this, some Ontario cities like Ottawa allow e-scooters. Others, like Toronto, have not allowed them, but are not effectively enforcing the ban on riding them in public.
Ottawa has allowed e-scooters for two years, over the strong objections from disability community. According to the City of Ottawa’s own survey, 83% of respondents encountered mis-parked e-scooters. 79% encountered e-scooters illegally ridden on sidewalks.
Some people own their own e-scooters and ride them in public. There is nothing in place to stop stores from selling e-scooters to the public, even when it is illegal to ride them in public in most parts of Ontario. In some cities, people can also rent e-scooters.
Corporate lobbyists for e-scooter rental companies have kept up a feeding frenzy of lobbying city councils. They laugh all the way to the bank, while victims of e-scooter injuries sob all the way to their hospital’s over-crowded emergency ward.
It’s not good enough to just ban e-scooters from sidewalks. In every city that has banned e-scooters from sidewalks but allowed them on the roads, people still keep riding e-scooters on sidewalks. No city can afford to have a cop on every sidewalk to police those weak rules.
Let the candidates know that this issue of safety and accessibility matters to you! Ask any and every candidate for mayor or City Council member in your community to make the “No E-scooters Pledge.” Don’t allow e-scooters anywhere in public, roads, sidewalks or anywhere else. Don’t allow them, whether they are rented or privately owned. Don’t allow this new dangerous disability barrier to be created. It will make our society even more inaccessible for Ontarians with disabilities.
We are talking about the motorized kick-style scooters that a person stands on to ride. We of course seek no restrictions on mobility assistance devices for people with disabilities, such as the very different powered scooters on which a person sits when riding them.
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requires Ontario to become accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. Creating new barriers flies in the face of that requirement.
Please spread the word about this issue. Urge friends and family members to call on any candidates for mayor or city council in the October 24, 2022 Ontario municipal elections to make the “No E-Scooters Pledge!”
Let us know what commitments you get from candidates. Email us at email@example.com
Want to learn more about this issue? Visit the AODA Alliance website’s e-scooter page!