E-scooters will be legal to use on Irish public roads from next week

New regulations set a speed limit for e-scooters of 20km/h and a ban on carrying a passenger or goods

Children aged under 16 will be banned from using electric scooters in public spaces from next Monday under regulations signed into law by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan.

However, adults will be able to legally use them on the roads as long as their electric scooter complies with certain specifications. The regulations set a speed limit of 20km/h and place a ban on them being used for carrying a passenger or goods.

The rapid growth in the use of e-scooters, especially in built-up environments and urban settings, has led to calls for tighter regulations regarding the machines.

The European Transport Safety Council, which the Irish Road Safety Authority is a member of, last year recommended the use of helmets and a minimum age of 16 for piloting an e-scooter, as well as a 20km/h speed limit being set in factories by manufacturers.

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The Government passed legislation last year to enable the regulations to come into force. They also ban the fitting of seats to electric scooters, as well as the modification of them in a way that compromises safety, allows the driver to increase the maximum speed or changes the physical or technical characteristics beyond the manufacturer’s specifications.

Towing other vehicles or equipment will also be prohibited, and the power of the motor will be limited to 0.4 kilowatts. New regulations on steering and braking standards are also to be introduced, as well as others on the use of front and rear lamps and the fitting of reflector strips.

A person using an electric scooter outside the regulations or without relevant requirements will be guilty of an offence under the regulations signed by the Minister.

A spokeswoman for Mr Ryan said: “The regulations for e-scooters and e-bikes will come into effect next Monday, May 20th, resolving legal barriers that have meant that e-scooters, while a regular part of our streetscape, have not been legal to use on our public roads.

“A public information campaign will roll out with the commencement from Monday. These regulations ... will help make our roads safer for all road users and give legal certainty to those who are choosing to get around on new forms of mobility,” she said.

“They aim to balance the safety of e-scooter users with other road users like pedestrians and cyclists. They will also help future-proof Ireland’s regulatory system to ensure that we can adapt to new technologies as they continue to emerge.”

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