Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (31)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

31. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Transport the status of his plans to legislate for e-scooters. [25897/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I intend to legislate for e-scooters in accordance with the Programme for Government. This will involve identifying and developing appropriate amendments to primary legislation across a range of complex areas. The work must be carried out in such a way that it does not undermine the overall framework of Road Traffic Law or Road Safety in general, in which Ireland is now the leading EU member state.

My officials are currently looking at how a plan to progress work to meet the commitment can be made in light of the foregoing, noting that experience overseas has shown that a change of regime may have consequences for road safety, the management of roads and footpaths, the movement of traffic, public transport and goods, public health and the environment. In that regard, we are in the fortunate position of being able to learn from the mistakes of other jurisdictions, local, regional and national, which were more precipitate in responding to the commercial and other interests lobbying for this particular industry.

The Deputy will be aware that my predecessor asked the Road Safety Authority to look broadly at these issues, given the public debate on this sector, and the report from TRL consultants in the UK that they commissioned highlighted in particular the importance of appropriate and enforceable standards for both drivers and the devices, as well as the availability of suitable infrastructure. My Department subsequently carried out a general public consultation on the report, which attracted a range of views.

in light of those observations, I intend as a first step to ask the critical stakeholders in relation to road safety and urban mobility, including the Road Safety Authority, national and local transport authorities, and the Garda Síochána, what specific priorities and provisions should be enshrined in any new legislation. This is necessary to ensure that any new legislation can be effective in maximising the benefits and minimising the risks of legalising this form of transport.

It should be noted that, in the immediate term, the Government is prioritising the necessary measures to manage the Covid 19 crisis and to mitigate its social and economic consequences as well as those of Brexit.