E-scooter users may be fined for speeding under Bill tabled by Fianna Fáil

Opposition proposes reclassifying e-scooters to remove need for licence and insurance

Scooters are not currently legislated for, but are considered motor-propelled vehicles requiring a licence and insurance. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Scooters are not currently legislated for, but are considered motor-propelled vehicles requiring a licence and insurance. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

E-scooter users who travel over 25kmph, or tamper with its speed-limiting software should be subject to fines and prosecutions, a new Bill tabled by Fianna Fáil has proposed.

Its private members legislation, the Road Traffic (Use of Electric Scooters) Bill 2019 will be debated in the Dáil on Wednesday.

The initiative, brought forward by its transport spokesman Marc MacSharry and Dublin spokesman John Lahart, is intended to facilitate widespread use of this new form of transport.

At present there is no specific law for electronic modes of transport such as scooters, segways, skateboards or hoverboards. Technically, they are classed as motor-propelled vehicles requiring users to hold a licence and insurance.

However, the Fianna Fáil Bill will reclassify the scooters as a new category of transportation, which will require neither licences or insurance.

It will impose an upper speed limit of 25kmph and will also make it compulsory for drivers to wear a helmet.

Mr MacSharry said on Tuesday that people had been waiting for many years for something to happen and the Bill was a genuine effort to regulate for scooters and take drivers out of an “intolerable limbo”.

Mr Lahart said they were very popular with younger people and that they had huge potential as a clean form of transport.

“We need immediate practical fixes for congestion in Dublin.”

Saying Dublin was one of the most congested cities in Europe, he said: “The average person spends 10 days of their life in their car. E-scooters are a reality and they need to be regulated. They provide practical solutions.”

Mr MacSharry was asked if he was being opportunistic in bringing forward this legislation just before Minister for Transport Shane Ross’s public consultation on e-scooters was drawing to an end.

“Mr Ross, he has been in Government for four years,” replied Mr MacSharry. “Jumping in ahead of him is a comical assessment of his performance so far.”