Success! – Officials Reconsider Throttle Ban on Okanagan Trail

June 2. 2022

Our cry “throttles are not illegal” was heard! Class 2 electric bikes will again be welcome on the entire Okanagan Rail Trail.

This week, the Regional District of North Okanagan’s (RDNO) Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) unanimously supported repealing a bylaw restricting throttles on certain sections of the popular multi-use trail.

Sheila Fraser, owner of Pedego Oyama, made a delegation to the June 1 meeting where a decision in principle was made on the spot to reverse the bylaw. She has been a strong advocate for Class 2 electric bikes, starting an online petition that saw more than 4,200 signatures in less than two weeks, showing that many agree – throttles are a great aid, not a detriment to safe, courteous, and fun riding.

“I’m truly happy, that’s what we wanted to happen, so I was really excited with the responsiveness of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee that they actually took what they heard from us and agreed it was the right time to make a change,” said Fraser after the meeting in coverage by Vernon Matters.

Read full news coverage in Vernon Matters

BACKGROUND: This spring, new signage on the section of the Okanagan Rail Trail between Coldstream and Lake Country advised users of a bylaw restricting trail use to Class 1 electric bikes or bikes without a throttle. Many riders including the elderly or those with mobility challenges rely on the throttle for an extra boost of power when needed.

The GVAC recognized an e-bike throttle helps with accessibility and that enforcing a bylaw restricting one type of bike over another would be difficult.

Read more background in Pedego’s full story… Join Fraser in supporting her petition.

“Thank you to everyone who joined me in voicing our concerns over this unreasonable bylaw. I am pleased with so much support and that it is possible to make a difference when we speak up and take a stand,” said Fraser.