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File photo of person using e-scooter in Dublin RollingNews.ie
Transport

E-scooters to be regulated from Monday, with new laws prohibiting use by under-16s

There are also strict requirements around braking and lighting in the regulations.

LAST UPDATE | 15 May

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS ARE set to be regulated under new laws from next week, with those under the age of 16 no longer allowed to use them.

Although an increasingly common mode of transport in recent years, the use of e-scooters was technically illegal until this month.

From next Monday, people will be allowed to use the scooters at up to 20km/h. 

People under 16 will not be permitted to use e-scooters under the new laws.

It will also be illegal for multiple people to be on an e-scooter at once or for it to be used to carry goods.

There are also strict requirements around braking and lighting in the regulations.

To be permitted for use on public roads, e-scooters must:

  • have a maximum continuous rated power output of 400w or less
  • have a maximum net weight of 25kg (including batteries)
  • have a maximum design speed of 20km/h or less
  • have wheels with a minimum diameter of 200mm
  • be fitted with front and rear lights and reflectors, brakes and a bell, and
  • be fitted with a manufacturer’s plate certifying the power output, weight and design speed

Regulations around the type and use of e-bikes will also be classified for the first time into Irish legislation next week. 

To be permitted for use on public roads, e-bikes must:

  • have a maximum continuous rated power of less than or equal to 250w
  • output of the motor cuts off when the cyclist stops pedalling
  • output of the motor is progressively reduced and finally cut off before the vehicle speed reaches 25 km/h

E-mopeds are powered cycles with pedals that have an electrical power-assist greater than an e-bike.

Because of this additional power, all e-mopeds will require vehicle registration through Revenue and to have annual motor tax (€35 per annum). Users must be 16 years and above.

There are two categories of e-mopeds:

Those that have a maximum design speed of 25km/hr and a maximum power output of up to 1000W, and have an electric motor that cuts off when pedalling stops (L1e-A e mopeds).

These vehicles will be permitted for use in cycle lanes and bus lanes but not on footpaths and users are legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet.

Those that have a maximum design speed of up to 45km/hr and a maximum power output of 4000W (L1e-B e-mopeds).

L1e-B e-mopeds can have a motor that cuts off when pedalling stops (pedal-assist) or can be powered by its motor alone, called throttle e-mopeds. Both pedal-assist and throttle e-mopeds under the L1e-B category, will require a Category AM driver’s licence.

Additionally, throttle e-mopeds will require insurance. Both L1e-B mopeds will not be permitted to use cycle lanes, bus lanes, footpaths or pedestrianised zones and users are legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet.

In a statement, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said that the regulations will resolve barriers to the legal use of the scooters, which are “a regular part of our streetscape”.

“These regulations, which are just one part of the comprehensive Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, will help make our roads safer for all road users and give legal certainty to those who are choosing to get around on new forms of mobility.

“They aim to balance the safety of e-scooter users with other road users like pedestrians and cyclist. They will also will help future-proof Ireland’s regulatory system to ensure that we can adapt to new technologies as they continue to emerge.”

A public information campaign about safe legal use of e-scooters is to commence on Monday also.

The Road Safety Authority’s (RSA) tv-led campaign will also be pushed out across radio, social media and out-of-home advertising. 

The campaign will focus on communicating the main rules of the road relating to e-scooters and other road users sharing the roads together.

“Next week marks an important change on Irish roads. We are asking people on e-scooters and other road users to familiarise themselves with the traffic laws and regulations concerning this new vehicle type,” RSA chief executive Sam Waide said. 

“The RSA’s advertising campaign will be extensive and will support both e-scooters and other road users to understand how to share the roads safely together. It aims to remind all road users that we are all people sharing the roads together.”

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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