Ireland Needs to Get a Scoot On With E-scooter Legislation

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By Chamber Press Office, 15 January 2019

Business group Dublin Chamber has called on policymakers to address the current legislative grey area around the use of e-scooters in Ireland.

The Chamber, reacting to the news that the Government has asked the Road Safety Authority to explore the regulation of e-scooters, said e-scooters can help make Dublin an easier city to move around.

Dublin Chamber said there is increasing demand from workers in Dublin looking to use electric powered scooters. The Chamber said demand was particularly high amongst workers in the tech sector.

According to Dublin Chamber’s Head of Communications Graeme McQueen: “It is vital that the grey area around e-scooter usage in Ireland is cleared up without delay. A large number of e-scooters are already being used in Dublin. There’s huge interest in the technology and a real opportunity to grow numbers, but uncertainty over their legality is unhelpful. Workers in Dublin are looking at their peers in other cities around the world who are able to scoot around freely.

Dublin Chamber said there is a clear appetite for this new mode of transport in Dublin. A recent Chamber survey of 500 workers in the city found that two thirds of people would support the introduction of e-scooters to the city.

E-scooters are ‘Mechanically Propelled Vehicles’ and as such come under the rules and regulations of the 1961 Road Safety Act. The Chamber, in a submission to the Department of Transport last year, said this is a law that far precedes e-scooter technology and that does not properly address their technological make-up.

Mr McQueen said: “By the letter of the law, it appears that e-scooters need to be taxed and insured. However, this is not possible in practice and means there is a real legal grey area for e-scooter users – of which there are already many in Dublin. E-scooters and dockless e-scooter sharing systems have become extremely popular in US cities. They have now arrived in European cities like Madrid, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and many more. If these cities can find a way to incorporate e-scooters then Dublin must find a way also. Policymakers need to put the appropriate regulations in place to support their use Dublin without delay.”

Congestion in Dublin’s city centre is bad and getting worse. E-scooters can make a really positive contribution by enabling people to get around the city more easily. Permitting the use of e-scooters will pave the way for people to carry out part – or all - of their entire commute by scooter. We look forward to seeing common sense prevail and for the grey area around e-scooter usage in Ireland to being fully cleared up.”
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For more information please contact:
Graeme McQueen | Head of Communications | 01 644 7247 | 086 212 6444 | graeme@dublinchamber.ie