Fine Gael TD Noel Rock has today (Tuesday) called on Transport Minister Shane Ross, to publish the results of a public consultation on e-scooters at the “first practicable opportunity”, saying: “We’ve waited long enough.”
Deputy Rock said: “It’s two years since I first raised this with the Minister in the Dáil. At the time, he said no new laws were needed initially.
“Eventually he agreed to ask the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to commission a report: that report was clear, and showed most other western nations have adapted a framework of laws in relation to these vehicles. Yet, we still have no laws on them in Ireland.
“The recent conviction of a young man for using an e-scooter puts this issue into stark focus again. He now has 5 penalty points and a €300 fine We need updated laws, and we need them now.”
Deputy Rock, speaking at the launch of a new trial of an e-scooter scheme on the main campus of DCU in the heart of his constituency, continued: “E-scooters are here, and they are here to stay. They are environmentally friendly, help to ease congestion, and are a sustainable form of transport that could complement our existing public transport infrastructure.
“I’m glad to see DCU play a leading role here – it reflects the innovative, future-focussed University I’ve been dealing with for the last 4 years and it’s great to have them at the heart of Dublin North West.
Deputy Rock added: “These scooters, developed between a new technology consortium, Luna, based on DCU’s technology campus and Blue Duck Scooters, have hardware far more advanced than the GPS we know, which allows real time tracking of the scooters to a sub-centimetre level. This is a vital advancement in terms of safety, and in terms of allowing Dublin City to, in the future, set very rigid rules for usage of these scooters which can be properly enforced.
“By the looks of it, the technology will be able to tell you for example if somebody has used a scooter on a cycle lane for the entire journey, for instance: this is important as nobody wants to see them used on footpaths.”
Deputy Rock concluded: “The law needs to catch up with the times, and the Minister needs to kickstart that process.”