Local TD John Curran has called on the public to participate in the public consultation that is now open on e-scooters so as to end the current legal loophole that exists on these popular devises. Deputy Curran said: “Currently e-scooters are considered to be mechanically propelled vehicles, therefore users of these vehicles must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence, with penalties under road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements. Yet it is currently not possible to tax or insure e-scooters. This contradiction in the legislation is ridiculous and needs urgent attention from Government.
“However, these devices have been growing in popularity and, while some users have been stopped and had their scooters seized, they are being used very regularly. Minister Shane Ross’s reluctance to deal with this matter in a timely manner has resulted in this legal loophole and confusion for hard pressed commuters looking for alternatives to the private car, hence, we are now playing catch up. “A two-month public consultation process that has commenced by the Department of Transport may result in e-scooters being approved for use on Irish roads or being prohibited. A report commissioned by the Road Safety Authority has broadly supported legalising the use of e-scooters in the Republic, under some conditions and guidelines. I am encouraging the public to engage with this process and to participate and to have their voices heard on the issue of e-scooters. There is no doubt that these devices have the potential to make a very positive impact on transport in the city and we need a plan, despite the Minister’s dithering on the issue.
Fianna Fáil (FF) had already published legislation to set legal parameters for the safe use of e-scooters. The Bill removes the requirement for e-scooters and e-bikes to be taxed and insured by altering the definition of mechanically propelled vehicles. The FF Bill permits the use of e-scooters on Irish roads, but it also lays down a number of safety requirements.
We want to see less cars on the roads, less congestion and less emissions but we want people to be responsible and safe and to minimise the potential for any accidents and injuries. These devices have the potential to serve the same purpose in our city as they do in many other major European cities, I will continue to follow up with the Minister in relation to this matter”, concluded Deputy Curran. The public consultation will conclude on 1st November 2019. Submissions are invited from members of the public, stakeholders and other interested parties. If you would like to make a consultation submission, please do so by sending a submission to firstname.lastname@example.org with “PPTs Consultation” included in the subject line, by close of business Friday the 1st of November 2019.