The regularisation of e-scooters and e-bikes is an eco-friendly move that will benefit the safety of all road users, a Fine Gael TD has said. Deputy Alan Farrell, who represents Dublin Fingal, is introducing a Private Members’ Bill in the Dáil to legislate for the vehicles.
Deputy Farrell said, “My Private Members’ Bill will legislate for the use of e-scooters and e-bikes for the benefit and safety of all road users.
“E-bikes have been growing in popularity here for some years, while e-scooters are also becoming increasingly visible in our cities and towns and it is said they are set to be this year’s popular Christmas present. However, a lot of people might not realise that e-scooters are not technically legal in Ireland and certain e-bikes that can be considered ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ are subject to the same regulatory controls that apply to other vehicles on the road.
“My Bill aims to regularise these eco-friendly vehicles, of which there are thousands already in our communities. I believe that by regularising these efficient and user-friendly vehicles, we can actively promote this form of environmentally friendly micro mobility which will contribute to modernising our transport options in our towns, villages and cities across the country.
“My Bill applies to both individual and ride-sharing usage and it will bring the use of these vehicles in line with pedal cycles. For example, it sets a speed limit on devices of 25km per hour, in line with other jurisdictions. In order to achieve this a speed limitation device will be attached to each vehicle. It also ensures that the electric motors on these vehicles will have a maximum continuous rated power of 250 watts.
“The Bill also prescribes a minimum age of 16 for use of e-scooters and e-bikes. It is important to remember that they are not toys, they are commuter vehicles that if used correctly can be an effective part of our sustainable transport mix.
“My Bill will also ensure that offences are applied to certain activities while driving these vehicles, including use of a mobile phone while driving. It is only fair that anyone in charge of an electric powered vehicle is subject to the same safety standards as those driving cars.”
Will O’Brien is from Zipp Mobility, an e-scooter start-up which has targeted the UK market. O’Brien said, “As an Irish start up working in the micro mobility industry, it’s disappointing not seeing Ireland legislate for e-scooters. We want to bring our product home, we want to launch our service in cities across Ireland and there’s never been a better time to launch.”
Deputy Farrell continued, “We are playing catch up with the EU in this area and my Bill aims to bring Ireland in line with other European countries like Germany, Belgium and France. It is my belief that legislating for these devices will clear the existing grey areas in the law and will actually encourage the use of these eco-friendly zero-emission transport options here in Ireland.
“Clean and sustainable transport is key to making changes in our transport network that will allow us reach our important climate action targets and achieve a zero-carbon society for the benefit of all”, Deputy Farrell concluded.
Watch Deputy Farrell explain the need for his Private Members’ Bill here.