Thursday, 12 December 2019

Questions (112)

Catherine Martin


112. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of e-scooters that have been confiscated by gardaí in the past 18 months in tabular form, by month and by Garda division. [52308/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As has previously been noted by my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross, TD, including in response to parliamentary question 246 of 15 May 2019, the Road Traffic Act 1961 defines a mechanically propelled vehicle as a vehicle intended or adapted for propulsion by mechanical means, including a bicycle or tricycle with an attachment for propelling it by mechanical power, whether or not the attachment is being used. It also includes a vehicle, the means of propulsion of which is electrical, or partly electrical and partly mechanical.

E-scooters and powered skateboards fall into this category, and are therefore considered to be mechanically propelled vehicles. Any users of such vehicles in a public place (as defined in the Road Traffic Act 1961) must have insurance, road tax and a driving licence, with penalties under road traffic laws (including fixed charge notices, penalty points, fines and possible seizure of the vehicle) for not being in compliance with these requirements.

As it is currently not possible to tax or insure e-scooters or electric skateboards, they are not considered suitable for use in a public place.

Insofar as the specific statistics sought by the Deputy are concerned, I am advised by An Garda Síochána that, unfortunately, this data cannot be easily collated as PULSE does not allow for the disaggregation of such statistics based on vehicle type. I am informed that a manual search of all road traffic licence/insurance/tax offence records would be required to collate this information. I am advised that this would require a disproportionate amount of Garda time and resources, and, therefore, cannot be justified.

Finally and in relation to such vehicles more generally, I understand that Minister Ross has undertaken a public consultation between 1 September 2019 and 1 November on personal powered transport and this consultation is in review.