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Dublin: 15 °C Monday 23 September, 2019
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E-scooters should be legalised on Irish roads, says new report - but 'investment' is needed

Electric scooters are currently not regulated in Ireland.

A government-commissioned report has recommended legalising e-scooters.
A government-commissioned report has recommended legalising e-scooters.
Image: Shutterstock/Roman Chekhovskoy

ELECTRIC SCOOTERS COULD become legal on Irish roads, after a report by the Road Safety Authority recommended changes to how the increasingly popular mode of transport is regulated.

However, concerns remain over the safety of e-scooters – both for individuals using them and for other road users, with the chief of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) warning that investment will be needed if changes are introduced. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland programme, Chief Executive of the RSA Moyagh Murdock said that the report, which was commissioned by the government earlier this year, looked at how e-scooters are regulated in other European countries. 

Currently, e-scooters are not regulated or defined in legislation, making them illegal to use on Irish roads.

The scooters, which have grown in popularity in recent years, are now becoming a common sight in Irish cities and pressure has grown on the government to address the gap in legislation. 

“We recognise that there is a groundswell of desire to have them out there and we are saying if this continues and they are to be legalised we would make certain recommendations as to how to protect the road-using public,” she said. 

Murdock said that the Minister for Transport Shane Ross is considering the report’s recommendations. 

The Irish Times reported today that Ross is planning to announce a two-month-long public consultation on the issue starting in September. 

Speaking in May, Ross that he saw “the difficulties with having unregulated vehicles on our roads. We will have to make a decision as soon as possible”. 

The RSA recommended that the electric scooters should not be allowed on footpaths. “These are not toys,” Murdock said. Powered by rechargeable electric motors, some scooters can travel as fast as 30 km per hour. 

If changes are introduced, Murdock said investment will be needed on our roads and footpaths to make sure e-scooters are used safely.  

The demand for better investment in road and transport infrastructure comes following growing calls from cyclists for more funding to protect and ensure their safety on Irish roads. 

Murdock said that Ireland was not behind the curve on e-scooter regulation compared to other European countries. 

“We’re all trying to catch up,” she said. 

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