Gardaí have recorded at least 1,373 “traffic incidents” involving e-scooters, including 440 collisions, in the last 2½ years, newly released figures show.
Some 269 e-scooters have been seized by gardaí in the same period.
The figures come as work continues in Government on legislation to regulate e-scooter use.
Between the start of this year and the end of July, there were 453 e-scooter traffic incidents, which compares to 640 for all of 2021 and 280 in 2020.
More than two-thirds of the e-scooter traffic incidents — 67 per cent — were recorded in the Dublin region.
Limerick accounted for 5 per cent of incidents between the start of 2020 and the end of July 2022, while Cork had 4 per cent and Kildare 3.6 per cent.
A Garda statement said 440 of the incidents involved a traffic collision. It said that such collisions included incidents that were fatal or involved serious and non-serious injuries and others that caused material damage only as well as those resulting in no injuries or damage.
Last week The Irish Times reported that two people have died and 42 more suffered serious injuries from collisions involving e-scooters since the start of 2020.
The figures for the overall level of traffic incidents are based on those which occurred from January 1st, 2020, to July 27th, 2022, and they come from operational data on the Garda Pulse system which the statement said is “liable to change”.
The scooters and electric bikes will be exempt from registration, tax or insurance if they are unable to travel at speeds above 25km/h under Government plans to regulate their use.
The Road Traffic and Roads Bill will legislate for e-bikes and e-scooters.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport Hildegarde Naughton told the Dáil that e-scooters will now be reclassified as “powered personal transporters“.
Technical and safety standards will be set down for them, she said. “Only vehicles which are type approved can be registered and accordingly it is not intended that powered personal transporters will require registration,” she said.
Up to now, amid a lack of specific regulations e-scooters should in theory be subject to vehicle registration, tax and insurance. However, the level of enforcement of such rules is unclear.
Gardaí have seized 269 e-scooters since the start of 2020 under section 41 of the Road Traffic Act which empowers them to confiscate vehicles. This section of the Act allows gardaí to seize vehicles if there are breaches of regulations surrounding driver licences, insurance, tax and the age of the driver.
The Garda statement offered no information on which specific provisions under section 41 were used to seize e-scooters in recent years. The gardaí said that seizures primarily occurred across its five Dublin divisions with other divisions across the country having fewer than 10 seizures each over the period in question.