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E-scooters to be legal on Irish roads, but not for under-16s

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Those under 16 will be banned from using the mode of transport, which is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland.

E-scooters will become legal on Irish roads starting 20 May after long-awaited regulations come into effect.

In an announcement today (15 May), the Government said that the introduction of these new rules, which have been in the making for years, provide a legal basis for the range of vehicles available and the correct way of using them.

“E-scooters and e-bikes are an increasing feature in all cities, towns and villages in Ireland. This will help improve the safety for other road users as well as the vehicle users themselves,” the announcement reads.

Users under the age of 16 will be banned from using e-scooters in public spaces, according to the new regulation, because of safety concerns for young users. Additionally, the ordinary speed limit for electric scooters in all public roads will be restricted to 20kph.

Part of the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, the regulations are expected to make roads safer and give “legal certainty” to those who are choosing to get around on “new forms of mobility” according to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, TD.

“We’ve seen more and more e-scooter and e-bikes on our roads. Since they first appeared, many have developed and have become more powerful, and these regulations set out clearly how they can all be used in our evolving transport landscape, safely and with respect for other road users, in particular those most vulnerable on our roads like pedestrians and cyclists,” Ryan said.

“They will also help future-proof Ireland’s regulatory system to ensure that we can adapt to new technologies as they continue to emerge. I hope these provisions will also give confidence to more people to choose new ways to travel that help them avoid congestion and gridlock.

“They will also contribute to freeing up road space, which in turn means that we can allocate more space to provide improved, faster and more frequent public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure for everyone.”

Other than strict requirements around braking and lighting, the regulations also prohibit more than one person from using an e-scooter at any given time. The devices should also not be fitted with a seat and must not “endanger, impede or inconvenience the driver, other road users or members of the public”.

Only e-scooters with a maximum power output of 400W or less, a maximum design speed of 20kph and a maximum weight of 25kg will be legal to use on public roads. Any e-scooter that goes over these parameters will remain illegal.

Minister of State Jack Chambers, TD, said the regulation will bring clarity for road users and ensure greater safety on roads.

“More people are choosing these types of vehicles to get around cities, towns and villages all over our country and it is essential we have a proper system of regulation and technical requirements for e-scooters,” Chambers said.

“The regulations have been developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders and will be kept under ongoing review as this type of transit continues to evolve.”

According to Chambers, the Road Safety Authority will be rolling out an “extensive” public information and awareness campaign to inform the general public of the new regulations and requirements so they can be used in a “safe and legal” manner.

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