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Wednesday 18 September 2019

E-scooters are illegal on roads, Ross warns retailers

Shane Ross: Transport Minister warned e-scooters are illegal on roads. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Shane Ross: Transport Minister warned e-scooters are illegal on roads. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Transport Minister Shane Ross has warned retailers that e-scooters are illegal on public roads and their customers must be told.

Growing numbers of commuters have been using e-scooters - some of which can travel at more than 30kmh - for short distances to work.

More than 2,000 people are believed to glide around the streets of Dublin.

Mr Ross last night told retailers they are obliged to inform customers that e-scooters and other powered public transporters like segways and hoverboards are only available to use legally on private property.

Mr Ross last week announced a public consultation on the e-scooters that is to run up to November 1.

It was launched after a report commissioned by the Road Safety Authority broadly supported legalising them for use on public roads.

Fianna Fáil TD John Curran recently criticised the Transport Minister for not dealing with the "legal loophole" that prevents the introduction of regulations for the safe use of e-scooters.

Mr Ross said e-scooters and similar vehicles are defined as mechanically propelled vehicles and must have insurance, motor tax and an appropriately licensed driver to operate them if they are used on public roads. Gardaí have the power to detain vehicles. He added: "It is critically important that suppliers and retailers inform prospective purchasers that such vehicles can only be used on private property.

"Suppliers and retailers are reminded that the supply (which includes sale, hire, loan, gift, etc) of a mechanically propelled vehicle (including e-scooters and such like vehicles) to someone under the age of 16 is prohibited."

Gardaí have previously confirmed e-scooters are being seized and cases are expected to come before the courts in the coming months.

Irish Independent

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