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E-scooters in line for regulation as FF pushes bill

27 May 2019 / regulation Print

E-scooters in line for regulation as FF pushes bill

FF plans to introduce a bill in the Dáil in relation to the regulation of e-scooters in response to their increased popularity.

E-scooter users are currently liable to prosecution and to having their vehicles impounded by gardai.

FF transport spokesman Robert Troy said the bill sets out the route for the National Transport Authority to issue regulations so that e-scooters can be used in a manner that is safe for other road users.

It sets an e-scooter speed limit of 25 miles per hours with a requirement that helmets must be worn.

Congestion

Francisco Pegado, 31, pictured above, is originally from Fortaleza in Brazil. He bought his scooter in Swords, Co Dublin and paid €400 two months ago for his Chinese-made Xiaomi.

He gets 22 km in distance from a full charge, which takes five hours.

“It’s a good way to get to work but I always use a helmet and high-viz jacket to be as safe as possible,” says Francisco.

“I always travel in the bike lane and I never go fast. The top speed is 25 kph and I don’t go faster than that.

“I love travelling to work in this way," says Francisco who works as a web developer at the Law Society in Blackhall Place, Dublin 7.

He points out that tech company car parks Dublin are filled with hundreds of scooters as young workers embrace this new mode of transport.

He commutes to work from nearby Cabra on a daily basis, staying in bike lanes for safety.

Environmently-friendly

FF believes that e-scooters must be acknowledged as a new form of public transport which is environmentally friendly, efficient and which helps reduce congestion.

Party leader Micheál Martin said the bill is part of a wider suite of measures towards sustainable living and a cleaner environment and more efficient and effective modes of getting around the city.

The Road Traffic Act 1961 defines a mechanically propelled vehicle as a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power.

 “E-scooters and powered skateboards fall into this category and are therefore considered to be mechanically propelled vehicles. Any users of such vehicles in a public place, as defined in the Road Traffic Act 1961, must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence,” transport minister Shane Ross told the Dáil.

Penalties under road traffic laws for using such a vehicle include fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle.

It is not currently possible to tax or insure e-scooters or electric skateboards.

The minister said that because of this “they are not considered suitable for use in a public place.”

The minister has asked the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to research into how other EU Member States regulate their use, stating that he would not take any steps until the study recommended best practice.

 

 

 

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Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland