Written Answers. - Mechanically Propelled Vehicles.

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

410 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will confirm that electric bikes currently being imported for sale have the same status as pedal bikes not requiring insurance, licence or tax as is the situation in the UK, Europe and the USA. [7564/01]

Under road traffic law, bicycles powered by electrical means are regarded as mechanically powered vehicles. As a consequence, owners and users must comply with the relevant compulsory insurance, driver licensing and construction, equipment and use requirements. Such vehicles are required to be road taxed when used in a public place. However, my Department is seeking to develop a generic specification with a view to relaxing the statutory requirements relating to this type of bicycle in a way that takes account of environmental and road safety considerations.