Government to scrap age limit for e-scooter ownership in IrelandVish Gainon February 23, 2022 at 10:07 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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The Government has approved amendments to the Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021 which will see the removal of an age limit for e-scooter ownership and the establishment of a new office to oversee Ireland’s EV infrastructure growth.

Cabinet first gave the green signal to the bill in October last year, which then completed its second stage in the Dáil in November. Now that the amendments have been approved by Government, they will be presented at committee stage of the bill.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, TD, who proposed the amendments, said that while the bill is already a substantial one, the amendments are important and “will prove very worthwhile”.

He said that powered personal transporters (PPTs) such as e-scooters had been discussed in particular because it is an area “where the technology is changing very rapidly”.

One of the amendments will see the definition of PPT weight, speed and power output be varied in the future through regulations to enable prompt response in the dynamic sector.

“It is important that we can respond to what are sure to be many changes in this area in the relatively near future,” he added.

Charlie Gleeson, founder and CEO of Zipp Mobility, welcomed the amendments in a statement and said that the ability to adapt maximum levels of speed, weight and power of e-scooters “will be critical to ensure that regulations stay up to date”.

Headquartered at NovaUCD, Zipp is one of many local and international mobility start-ups waiting to hit Irish roads as soon as the Government legalises e-scooters.

A new Office of Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) will be set up by way of the amendments to undertake new functions in relation to recharging infrastructure for zero to low emission vehicles, eventually to be part of Transport Infrastructure Ireland.

The age limit of 16 for owning e-scooters has also been scrapped in the amendments as the move is seen to be “unenforceable” because ownership of PPTs does not need to be registered and there is no requirement for persons to carry proof of age in Ireland.

Duncan Robertson, Ireland and UK general manager for e-scooter operator Dott, also welcomed the amendments, but said that it will require all its riders to be at least 18 years old because of safety concerns.

“E-scooters offer Irish commuters a convenient and environmentally-friendly transport option that will help reduce city congestion. We look forward to working with policy-makers towards an Irish rollout in the coming months,” he said in a statement.

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