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Register, License Your E-Motorcycles to Avoid Prosecution

May 26, 2023

Register, License Your E-Motorcycles to Avoid Prosecution

Earlier this week, the Department of Transport issued a release on the use of electric motorcycles (scooters) in Belize. It’s an advisory to all owners of electric motorcycles, warning them that it is unlawful to operate these e-bikes on any public road, unless it has been registered and licensed. Furthermore, the driver should be in possession of a valid driver’s license with the appropriate class to operate a motorcycle. Not doing this can land the user in big trouble with the law, so operators are being advised to register and license these e-bikes to avoid prosecution under the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act. The release went on to depict examples of motorcycles (scooters), some of which includes bikes and scooters that are propelled by a machine. News Five spoke with Chief Transport Officer Diane Vasquez about the advisory.

Diane Vasquez

Diane Vasquez, Chief Transport Officer

“We’ve been engaging with the various municipalities and there have been growing concerns over the use of scooters and more so electric scooters especially in the islands and so it is something that we found necessary to issue a release to remind the public about – the safety concerns, and also about the regulation in place in order to address the usage of these vehicles. Section two of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic Act governs or it defines what we refer to as motorcycles and vehicles and it stipulates what are the regulation that governs the usage of these vehicles and these motorcycles. As is outlined in the regulation, a motor vehicle is anything that is mechanically propelled and I know there are a lot of question surrounding vehicles that are mechanically propelled because of how they look, but, according to our regulation, as long as it has a machine propelling it or getting it to move, it is considered a vehicle. In terms of the electric vehicles on a whole, it is a concept that is very new in Belize, I must say. Electric mobility is at its nascency and so there is still a lot that we are learning and of course we continue to engage and dialogue with the various stakeholders within the municipalities that are responsible for traffic management in order to understand what are the dynamics and what are the challenges that they are facing in their respective areas. The essence of the press release was more to highlight as well the safety concerns because I know some of the points that were forwarded was that we have kids riding these scooters and it’s a growing concern and so we wanted to highlight that they are vehicles, there are dangers in having kids ride on these vehicles, especially if they are not being supervised. So I am impressing to all road users and owners of these scooters to please ensure that the proper safety standards are upheld.”

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