Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan TD has today announced the Government’s approval to draft legislation which will allow for the regulation of escooters and ebikes in the forthcoming Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. This decision will now allow for the introduction of appropriate regulations for these types of vehicles.
The main provisions of the Bill are as follows:
• Legislation for the use of escooters
The Minister is proposing to create a new vehicle category which will be known as ‘Powered Personal Transporters’ (PPTs) and will include escooters and similar devises. The proposed legislation will allow escooters to be used legally in a public place and will also address standards to be met by PPTs in the interests of safety. Tax, insurance and driving licenses will not be required. As the intention is to legalise the use of PPTs in a public place, they will now be regulated as to how and where they may be used.
• Legislation relating to ebikes
Under current Irish law, ebikes are not classed as ‘mechanically propelled vehicles’ (MPVs) or as pedal bicycles. Ebikes will now be legislated for using EU standards as a reference point and will be treated mainly in the same way as pedal cycles while the more powerful models of eBike will be treated as light mopeds.
The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD commented: “E-scooters have become an increasingly popular form of personal mobility in a short period of time. However, these devices are not legal under current Irish road traffic law. I am implementing the commitment in the Programme for Government to regulate their use by including amendments in the upcoming Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill so that they can be used in a safe manner.”
Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton TD said: “The recent Government approval to draft legislation is a clear demonstration of our commitment to regulate for the safe and sustainable use of escooters and ebikes in Ireland as a matter of priority. The benefits of these provisions include providing a legislative framework for the use of escooters and ebikes on a more widespread basis whilst also ensuring and improving safety for all road users.”
In addition to legislation relating to escooters and ebikes, the following provisions will also be included in the Bill:
• Revision of legislation in relation to the giving of driving instruction for reward
The legislation which dates to 1968 is not fit for purpose. The Minister is proposing to update this legislation, in particular to the concept of a ‘fit and proper’ person to be a driving instructor.
• Introduction of a new power for the Road Safety Authority to revoke a driving licence
The Road Safety Authority is responsible for issuing driving licence. Although a person may be disqualified for driving, there is currently no power to revoke a license. This new power will allow the RSA to revoke a license in cases where a license holder no longer meets, or never met, the requirements for holding a licence.
• Testing of Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) on Irish roads
It is not possible under current legislation to conduct on-road tests of Autonomous Vehicles. A study has recently been completed on behalf of the Department, surveying the Road Traffic Acts and identifying areas where amendments might be needed to allow for such testing. The Minister will consider the implications and seek legal advice as necessary, with a view to proposing amendments for Committee stage.