Business and road authorities welcome e-scooter legislation
Business and motor safety organisations say they would welcome moves to legalise electric scooters by Christmas, as long as their riders stick to the rules.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan hopes a new law that would allow the use of e-scooters on Irish roads will be passed by the Oireachtas before Christmas.
While the scooters have become popular over the past few years, they are not legal.
Gardaí have already seized 91 e-scooters and riders have been involved in 37 accidents, according to figures given last month to Sinn Fein TD Darren O'Rourke.
Green Party leader Mr Ryan said he believes they can contribute to a greener mode of transport if their use is strictly regulated to keep other road users, cyclists and pedestrians safe.
"They have a role, and this move towards what they call e-mobility is a good thing, but you do need to regulate around speed, visibility and the use of lights," he said yesterday.
Because some e-scooters can go quite fast, Mr Ryan said there is a need for strict regulations concerning their speed and where they can be used.
Under proposed legislation, e-scooters would be banned from footpaths and must not exceed speeds of 25kmh.
There would also be lighting requirements, riders will not be required to hold a driving licence.
Barry Aldworth, a spokesman for AA Ireland, said the motoring organisation would welcome the use of e-scooters on condition that users abide by the rules.
"Broadly speaking, it's a move we would welcome," he told the Herald.
"They will allow people to complete short journeys in an environmentally-friendly way or for those who felt cycling wasn't for them."
Richard Guiney, the CEO of retain body DublinTown, said the Dublin business association would also welcome their use.
"DublinTown welcomes the regularisation of the laws regarding e-scooters," he said.
"We see e-scooters and e-bikes as options that will make commuting from longer distances a more viable option for some using sustainable transport modes of transport."