Government to examine legality of eScooters on Irish roads

Increasingly popular transport mode is technically illegal without a driver’s licence

Driving eScooters on a footpath is illegal and a person who does so will receive a fixed charge of €60 and a penalty point. Photograph:  Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Driving eScooters on a footpath is illegal and a person who does so will receive a fixed charge of €60 and a penalty point. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

 

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has been asked to look at the legality of eSccooters which are proliferating on Irish streets.

The Minister for Transport Shane Ross said the RSA will examine the legislation in other countries in relation to eScooters and electrically powered skateboards.

Under the terms of the Road Traffic Act 1961 it is illegal to drive eScooters on Irish roads without insurance, tax and a driving licence as it is considered to be a “mechanically propelled vehicle”.

However, the law is widely flaunted as it is impossible to get insurance or tax for them and gardaí have largely turned a blind eye to their use on the roads.

Mr Ross was asked by Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis to outline the position of existing legislation in regard to using a motorised scooter on a footpath.

The minister confirmed that driving eScooters on a footpath is illegal and a person who does so will receive a fixed charge of €60 and a penalty point.

If convicted in court they may receive a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence, up to €2,000 for a second or subsequent offence, and up to €2,000 and/or up to three months in prison for a third or subsequent offence within a twelve-month period.

He confirmed that the RSA will be looking at eScooters on the road and added: “I am keen to understand the road safety implications of the use of such vehicles on public roads, especially when interacting with other vehicles.

“Any decision to be taken on whether or not to amend existing legislation will depend on the outcome of the Authority’s research.”

Recently, Mr Ross has told The Irish Times that he wish to see how eScooters interact with other vehicles on public roads.

He said: “The department will need to be satisfied that permitting such vehicles on our roads will not give rise to safety concerns, both for the users themselves and for all other road users including cyclists, pedestrians and motorists.”