Sidecar Legalities

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Head Cheese
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Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:09 pm
Location: Seeey's Bay, ON

Re: Sidecar Legalities

Post by Gummiente » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:21 pm

Received my reply from the MTO the other day. I had sent it directly to a specific office instead of the general catch-all address and had specifically asked two questions pertaining to the double-wide Hannigan GTL sidecar, as follows; "My request for clarification of the sidecar passenger rules is as follows; does the double wide seat of this (and similar) sidecars legally allow for the fitment of two people? Would the addition of separate lap belts, even though currently not a legal requirement for sidecars, be sufficient to qualify a wide seat for double passenger use?"

Their response was pretty much the same cut and paste that Sidecar Bob received...

"Thank you for your follow-up e-mail regarding how many passengers are permitted in a motorcycle sidecar. The Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation, has asked that I respond on his behalf.

I would like to clarify that the Ministry of Transportation does not provide legal advice or interpretation of provincial statutes to the public. If you would like a legal opinion on some aspect(s) of a provincial statute, you should seek advice from your own legal counsel. With that understanding, I am pleased to provide these comments.

Concerning sidecar occupant capacity, it is essential that the motorcycle plus sidecar be maintained and operated only in a safe condition. While it may be possible to seat more than one person in a particular sidecar, it would not be advisable to do so, if the handling or braking of the combined vehicle (consisting of the motorcycle and sidecar) were adversely impacted by the additional weight.

Section 84 of the Ontario Highway Traffic prohibits the operation of any unsafe vehicle on a provincial highway. A vehicle which cannot be safely manoeuvred, accelerated or brought to a stop may be considered “unsafe” by police services. This requirement may be reviewed at the following link: ... .htm#BK139

The maximum safe load capacity of the sidecar must be considered, as well as the size and weight of the motorcycle to which it is to be attached. The manufacturer of the sidecar should be consulted for this information. It should be noted that even a single occupant in a sidecar could be considered unsafe if the weight of that occupant is excessive, in relation to the combined weight of the motorcycle and its occupants (seated on the motorcycle).

Please also note that the operator of the motorcycle is responsible for the safe operation of the combined vehicle (motorcycle and sidecar) at all times. If there is any doubt about the safety of the vehicle and its occupants, the vehicle must not be operated.

Thank you again for your interest in the safe operation of motorcycles in Ontario.

Gianoula Korinis
Team Leader
Road Safety Policy Office
Safety Policy and Education Branch"
Mike "Gummiente" Palmer
CURD Head Cheese

07 HD Road Glide/Ranger

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