Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Ceisteanna (330)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

330. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of e-scooters seized; the number of fines issued; the number of arrests and cautions made with regard to the use of an e-scooter under the Road Safety Act 1961; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27796/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Justice)

As noted by my colleague, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross, T.D., 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. Whether or not a vehicle requires a push-start is legally irrelevant.

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. There is no anomaly within the law.

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. To collate the information, a manual trawl of all road traffic licence/insurance/tax offence records concerning mechanically propelled vehicles would have to be undertaken, which, I am advised, would require a disproportionate amount of Garda time and resources, and, therefore, cannot be justified.

Finally, in relation to the legal position of such vehicles, Minister Ross had requested the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to carry out research into how e-scooters and other such vehicles are regulated in other countries, particularly in other EU Member States, indicating that 'the goal is to understand the road safety implications of the use of such vehicles on public roads, especially when interacting with other vehicles'. I am informed that the Minister has since received this report, which is now being considered in his Department.