Ireland begins to regulate microMobility
October 21, 2021Policy
Irish government’s approval of e-scooter legislation has begun its journey. The Government of Ireland’s recently published Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021, includes micromobility in Ireland.
Ireland’s Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said: “We committed in the Programme for Government to resolving legal barriers to the use of e-scooters, as well as e-bikes, and this bill will deliver on both of those commitments.”
This Personal transporter named legislation outlines that speed limits will be set at no less than six kilometres per hour (kph) and no more than 25kph, but cities will be given the power to set a lower 20kmph speed limit for e-scooters on specified roads, or parts of roads.
During the bill's second-stage debate in the Irish Parliament, Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said the bill will consolidate all traffic law in Ireland. She said the bill does not envisage scooters needing anything more by law than a bicycle. However, there will be minimum standards that the vehicles must adhere to.
Galway United players Padraig Cunningham and Conor O’Keeffe joined Senator Pauline O’Reilly last month to try out Superpedestrian e-scooters in Galway. The company says a significant switch to this mode of transport will help ease congestion and benefit small businesses.
"As with bicycles, registration, licensing, taxation and insurance will not be mandatory, nor will the use of helmets and other personal protection equipment, PPE, although this will be strongly recommended for user safety and the safety of other road users," she said.
We intend to set out minimum vehicle standards for e-scooters to ensure that they are safe to use and environmentally friendly. We will consider, amongst other items, their steering mechanisms, suitable weights and dimensions, braking, tyres and lighting. For electric bikes, she said, speed will be the determining factor.
"The bill will provide much-needed clarity to the growing cohort of e-bike users in Ireland by defining the requirements for low-powered e-bikes and high-powered e-bikes.
"Low-powered e-bikes, also known as pedelecs, are assisted by pedalling, and can reach speeds of up to 25km/h. We will continue to treat this kind of e-bike in the same way as an ordinary pedal bicycle, and the rules of the road for bicycles will apply accordingly. This type of e-bike will not require registration, taxation or licensing."
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said the bill will consolidate all traffic law in Ireland. She said the bill does not envisage scooters needing anything more by law than a bicycle. However, there will be minimum standards that the vehicles must adhere to
E-scooters will be prohibited on motorways and busways but allowed on cycle routes, and it will be an offence to use mobile phones while riding. Plus the bill will contains laws to deal with dangerous and anti-social off-road use of scramblers and quads.