Education and municipal engagement are key to successful integration of micromobility in Canadian communities

Traffic Injury Research Foundation

Traffic Injury Research Foundation

Road Safety Monitor 2021: Micromobility in Canada

See link in press release to download fact sheet

See link in press release to download fact sheet

OTTAWA, August 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) has published, Road Safety Monitor 2021: Micromobility in Canada, sponsored by Beer Canada and Desjardins and with the support of Neuron Canada. This is the first year TIRF has included questions related to micromobility and personal mobility device (PMD) use in its annual Road Safety Monitor (RSM) survey. This fact sheet summarizes evidence from previously published studies and incorporates data from TIRF’s RSM survey. The benefits associated with the use of micromobility options are outlined along with specific risks related to where you ride, time of day, distractions, and helmet use.

In several Canadian jurisdictions, PMDs, particularly electric scooters, have become commonplace on roads and sidewalks in recent years. Cities have allowed e-scooter sharing services to operate, in accordance with regulations, some even through pilot programs aimed at collecting data to inform transportation and infrastructure planning. E-scooter sharing services can offer access to a convenient, inexpensive, and physically distanced transportation option. It can also increase connectivity between people and public transportation and create a fun experience reminiscent of childhood. It reduces reliance on traditional motor vehicles, particularly for short trips to local stores, commutes and social outings.

“A primary concern is that micromobility can also do harm,” shares Ward Vanlaar, TIRF’s director of operations. “Electric scooter injuries that require medical attention typically affect the upper and lower extremities, as well as the head and face, and commonly include soft tissue injuries, fractures, and dental injuries. Loss of balance and falls are also major contributors to e-scooter injuries and lack of helmet use may play a role in the severity of injuries.”

Local regulations can help mitigate injuries by designating specific driving areas, such as highways, as well as implementing geofencing tools. PMDs are often prohibited on sidewalks by local regulations, but this varies by municipality. Identifying appropriate parking areas for e-scooters is another strategy to help keep sidewalks accessible. Unfortunately, research has shown that many people report that they are not aware of the regulations related to e-scooter use or have incorrect knowledge of them.

TIRF’s RSM data revealed that a proportion of PMD users were observed to travel on the road in a manner that unnecessarily increased the risk of conflict with another road user or of falling out of the mobility device.

  • 28.1% of respondents reported frequently observing PMD passengers not obeying traffic signals or yielding the right of way.

  • 21.2% of respondents reported that they often observed PMD passengers weaving in and out of traffic.

  • 10.8% reported frequently observing PMD cyclists performing stunts on public roads. Growth retardation was seen less frequently among people aged 36 to 75 years or older.

  • One in five respondents (22.8%) reported seeing cyclists on sidewalks frequently, although the legality of this varies between municipalities.

  • 27.1% responded that they often observed PMD cyclists without a helmet, but the rules vary by province, municipality, and type of device.

“Protection is paramount, and micromobility cyclists can take several steps to avoid crashes and injuries,” says Sarah Simmons, TIRF research scientist. “It is important to know the risks associated with PMDs before using them. Equally important, passengers should wear protective equipment in the event of falls or collisions and avoid participating in activities that may increase the risk of falls or collisions.”

Given the proliferation of PMD technologies and shared micromobility services in Canadian municipalities, without ongoing education on safe driving strategies, the prevalence of these behaviors is likely to increase as ridership grows. As such, municipalities and public health professionals are encouraged to play an active role in both regulating the use of these devices to promote safety and supporting concerted educational initiatives to promote safe driving. Working together and respectfully sharing the road can help ensure the safe integration of micromobility into communities.

Download the fact sheet in English and French:

About the survey
These results are based on the RSM, an annual public opinion survey developed and conducted by TIRF. A total of 1,500 Canadians completed the survey. Results can be considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. Most questions were answered using a scale of one to six, with six indicating high agreement, concern, or support and one indicating low. low agreement, concern, or support. support for.

About the Traffic Injury Research Foundation:
The vision of the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) is to ensure that people who use the roads get home safely every day by eliminating road deaths, serious injuries and their societal costs. TIRF’s mission is to be the source of knowledge for safe road users and a world leader in research, program and policy development, evaluation, and knowledge transfer. TIRF is a registered charity and relies on grants, awards and donations to provide services to the public. Visit

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For more information, contact:

Karen Bowman
Director, Communications and Programs
Traffic Injury Research Foundation
613-238-5235 (office)
1-877-238-5235 (toll free)
[email protected] / [email protected]

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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