BILL 23 2023 - Motor Vehicle Amendment Act
The BC legislature has introduced the first reading of Bill 23 - 2023: Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2023. Bill 23 proposes amendments to create a safer environment for vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, and supports the shift to increased active transportation.
According to our government's press release the changes will include:
- Establishing a new vulnerable road-user framework that requires drivers to take proper precautions when pedestrians and cyclists are using a roadway.
- Implementing a one-metre minimum safe-passing distance and a three-metre minimum following distance that drivers of motor vehicles must observe when sharing roadways with pedestrians, cyclists, e-bikes and other similar devices
- Requiring the use of speed-limiter equipment to regulate the maximum speed of heavy-duty commercial vehicles, decreasing GHG emissions, reducing speed-related crashes and making it safer for all road users.
- Expanding the Province’s authority to implement more pilot projects, including enabling provincewide pilot projects and broader regulation-making authority to test safe, new and emerging transportation technologies and road safety policies including delivery robots, micro-utility devices, personal mobility devices and different classes of motor-assisted cycles or e-bikes.
These changes are part of the Clean BC Roadmap to 2030 which are outlined in the Transportation Section starting on page 32.
The new legislation will establish a minimum safe passing distance that drivers of motor vehicles must observe when passing pedestrians, cyclists and other prescribed road users. The Act also establishes a new definition of vulnerable road user and a new offence framework for drivers who interact unsafely with those road users:
"vulnerable road user" means the following persons:
(a) a pedestrian;
(b) a person who is operating or is on a cycle;
(c) a prescribed person.
Additional duty respecting vulnerable road users
144.1 A driver of a motor vehicle must take proper precautions in respect of vulnerable road users who are using a highway.Section 144 is amended by adding the following subsection:(3) In imposing a sentence for an offence under subsection (1), the fact that the commission of the offence causes death or bodily injury to a vulnerable road user is to be considered as an aggravating factor.