Saturday 21 September 2019

Ross warns retailers that e-scooters remain illegal on public roads

Lime electric scooter users in Berlin. Europe’s cobbled streets have posed problems for some operators. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Lime electric scooter users in Berlin. Europe’s cobbled streets have posed problems for some operators. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

TRANSPORT Minister Shane Ross has warned retailers that e-scooters are illegal on public roads and said their customers must be informed of this.

Growing numbers of commuters have been using e-scooters - some of which can reach speeds of more than 30kmph - to travel short distances to work.

However, they are currently not legal to use on public roads.

Mr Ross has today warned retailers that they are obliged to inform customers that e-scooters and other powered public transporters (PPTs) like segways and hoverboards, that they are only available to use legally on private property.

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

The consultation was launched after a report commissioned by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) broadly supported legalising the use of such vehicles on public roads.

But Mr Ross said that the scooters remain illegal to use on public roads.

He said: "Under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, eScooters and similar vehicles are defined as mechanically propelled vehicles.

"As such, before they can be used on public roads/in public places they must be covered by insurance, have motor tax and the driver appropriately licenced to operate them.

"Due to the nature of these vehicles, under existing road traffic law they are only suitable for use on private property.”

He said that enforcement of this legislation is a matter for the Gardaí which has the power to seize vehicles.

Mr Ross added: “It is critically important that suppliers and retailers inform prospective purchasers that such vehicles can only be used on private property.

"In addition, suppliers and retailers are reminded that the supply (which includes sale, hire, loan, gift etc) of a mechanically propelled vehicle (including eScooters and such like vehicles) to someone under the age of 16 is prohibited under section 30 of the Road Traffic Act 2004.”

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