LSV Road Use Legislative Developments

Despite ZENN’s efforts Transport Canada not fully supporting LSV use – A recent Transport Canada (TC) proposal would include small trucks in the LSV category. Changes would also only allow LSV use on closed private roads such as campuses or parks and not on open public roads. TC does not recommend the use of LSVs on public roads because of safety concerns but leaves the regulation of their use up to Canada’s individual provinces. Legislation by British Columbia lawmakers will allow the use of the vehicles on roads with a speed limit of 40km/h or less and on roads with a limit of 50 km/h if local municipalities agree.

Electric-cars are being allowed in Quebec: The province has launched a 3-year pilot project involving two low-speed vehicles. The ZENN car and the NEMO truck, built in St-Jerome and Ste-Therese respectively, have a maximum speed of 40-kilometres an hour. They’ll only be allowed to travel on public roads where the speed limit is 50-km/hr or less, and will have to travel in the right lane. In light of the pilot program, ZENN is evaluating expanding sales activities in Canada. Transport Minister Julie Boulet says the goal is make the change permanent in the long-term.

More states takes steps to legalize LSVs

  • South Dakota is in the process of passing legislation to legalize the use of NEVs on low speed roads. They would have to be registered with the states DMV and would be issued special license plates. Modified golf cars or homemade vehicles would not be allowed under the bill and cities and counties could adopt tougher regulations regarding their use.
  • Massachusetts passed a bill in the House that will be going to the state Senate but it essentially limits the vehicles to roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or less.
  • Some Kentucky state legislators are pushing forward with legislation that would allow the use of low-speed vehicles on roads with speeds up to 45 mph. Similar legislation had failed to pass earlier this year. Rising fuel prices is an important impetus behind the move. The governor recently signed an executive order to allow the use of LSVs on the road. The states transportation department will be formulating the necessary regulations in the coming months. One of the reasons behind the legislation is that Kentucky is trying to become the location for a manufacturing plant for Zap vehicles in conjunction with partner Integrity Manufacturing
  • Starting on July 1, 2008 in Tennessee medium-speed electric- or gasoline-powered vehicles with four wheels can travel up to 35 mph, and can use roads where the speed limit is 40. Golf carts are excluded. Low-speed vehicles with speeds of 30-35mph will have to be reregistered as medium speed vehicles with the DMV to drive legally on the higher speed streets. In related news, The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a study proposed by U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to evaluate the potential savings in oil costs from increasing road privileges for NEVs four-wheeled vehicles that can go up to 35 mph.
  • A state legislator is trying to bring a bill to vote that would make the use of NEVs legal on certain low speed limit roads in the state. High fuel prices are the impetus behind the new legislation. Pennsylvania is one of the few states where LSV legislation has not been passed.
  • Colorado State Rep. Don Marostica, R-Loveland, is proposing a bill that will allow golf carts and other small vehicles to travel on some public roads and state highways.

More cities passing or considering ordinances for LSV/NEV use – Wisconsin being the most active. Cities recently passing or proposing ordinance allowing the use of LSVs or NEVs on local roads include:

  1. Appleton, WI
  2. Burlington, WI
  3. Delavan, WI
  4. Edgerton, WI
  5. Fontana, WI
  6. Janesville, WI
  7. Madison, WI
  8. Marchfield, WI
  9. Menasha, WI
  10. Mequon, WI
  11. Milton, WI
  12. Milwaukee, WI
  13. Onalaska, WI
  14. Oshkosh, WI
  15. Pardeevilee, WI
  16. Portage, WI
  17. Racine, WI
  18. Ripon, WI
  19. Thiensville, WI Two Rivers, WI
  20. Union Grove, WI
  21. Verona, WI
  22. Wausau, WI
  23. Wind Point, WI
  24. Du Quoin, Il
  25. Pontiac, IL
  26. Quincy, IL
  27. Rock Island, IL
  28. South Beloit, IL
  29. Berthoud, CO
  30. Ridgway, CO
  31. Edmond, OK
  32. Holmen, OK
  33. Chistianburg, VA
  34. Pulaski, VA
  35. Stuart, FL
  36. Tavares, FL
  37. Baldwin County, AL
  38. Long Beach, CA Winchester, KY
  39. Frisco, TX

2 thoughts on “LSV Road Use Legislative Developments

  1. Can you tell me how you have done your research?
    I want to approach my city in Illinois and would like to see actual legislation from other Illinois communities as examples. I would also like to see any legislation from the State of Illinois to see what restrictions the State has enacted.
    I am also interested in finding legislation from states that have passed this as a 35mph limit.

    Any advice you can offer regarding this type of research would be most welcome.

  2. Joe,

    I basically set up a google news alert and it started picking up stories about legislation, some of which has passed and some that is pending. Other sources to try is the association of state legislatures and the electric drive transportation association. I believe there are six states with 35 mph limits, off the top of my head four are WY, MT, TN and WA. Alaska maybe one also but I’m not sure about that.

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