Thursday, 11 March 2021

Questions (24)

Steven Matthews

Question:

24. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Transport the status of the draft legislation to legalise the use of e-scooters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13625/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The intention is to legislate for e-scooters in accordance with the Programme for Government this year. This involves identifying and developing appropriate amendments to primary legislation across a range of complex areas. The work is being carried out in such a way so that it does not undermine the overall framework of Road Traffic law or road safety in general.

Department officials are currently working on drafting the necessary changes to primary legislation. Subject to satisfactory resolution of the necessary issues, I intend to bring forward committee stage amendments to the enabling primary legislation when the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill is before the Oireachtas in the coming months.

The current approach taken by my Department to permit the safe use of e-scooters on public roads takes into consideration the rapid development of these vehicles used for personal transportation. In order to future-proof the legislation and account for the development of these new vehicles, the road traffic acts are being amended to introduce a new category of vehicle - the proposed title for this new category is "powered personal transporters". This will be the first time the categories of vehicles set out in the Road Traffic Act 1961 have been amended.

Once the new category has been defined, these vehicles are to be incorporated into the existing legislative framework (wherein a range of powers/offences already exist) and this will permit the Minister for Transport to regulate for the use/misuse and the standards for different types of powered personal transporters, for example, through the introduction of regulations for e-scooters. Furthermore, the existing offences and powers of An Garda Síochána in road traffic legislation concerning careless/dangerous driving, driving under the influence of an intoxicant, driving an unroadworthy vehicle, etc., can also then be extended to users of powered personal transporters where required.