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Irish Government Moves Forwards With Plans To Legalise eBike and eScooter Use On Public Roads

The government in the Republic of Ireland plans to introduce legislation that will legalize the use of ebikes and scooters on non-private roads.

At the moment, it is illegal to use any type of ebike or scooter on public roads in the Republic of Ireland. The transport devices are classed as “mechanically propelled vehicles”, meaning insurance and road tax are compulsory to operate them on public roads. But, currently, it’s not possible to get road tax or insurance for an ebike or scooter.

Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Transport made an announcement last Monday in which he explained that moves to draft new legislation to regulate personal electric-powered transport in the next Road Traffic Bill were approved by the government.

According to the Minister, a new vehicle category has been proposed under the Bill. The category will be called “Powered Personal Transporters (PPTs)” and will include ebikes such as the Xiaomi Himo Z20 and electronic scooters.

In recent months, the electric scooter has become an evermore popular mode of personal transport across Europe.

The forthcoming legislation will permit the legal use of electronic scooters in public places as well as impose safety standards the powered personal transporters must meet. The legislation will also specify where and how the PPTs can be driven.

There are no plans to require driving licenses, insurance, or tax for PPTs.

Minster Ryan explained how electronic scooters have vastly increased in popularity over a short span of time, so he is committing the Government to introduce regulations regarding their safe use in public places in amendments to the forthcoming Road Traffic Bill. Obviously this would not cover electric scooters for children here.

EBikes

Amendments to the Bill will additionally introduce regulations for ebikes, which under current laws in Ireland are not classified as MPV aka pedal bicycles.

The DoT announced that new legislation for ebike will use European Union regulations as a basis, meaning most models will be classed as push bikes or pedal cycles, but some more powerful ebikes will be classed as light mopeds.

Hildegarde Naughton, who is the Minister of State explained that drafting this new legislation to regulate personal transportation devices is “a matter of priority” and is necessary to protect and improve the safety of public roads for all users.