Legal clarity on status of e-scooters in Ireland to be delayed until 2023Blathnaid O’Deaon April 8, 2022 at 16:00 Silicon RepublicSilicon Republic

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Despite the plethora of Irish start-ups operating in the wider micro mobility market, Ireland’s latest policy release indicates that e-scooter users will have to wait until 2023 for them to be legalised.

This is despite the long delay users and micro mobility operators have experienced thus far. The Government’s National Sustainable Mobility Policy action plan 2022-2025 was published yesterday (April 7). It indicates that e-scooters, or “powered personal transporters/PPTs” will not have a clearly defined legal status until 2023.

The Department of Transport, supported by the Road Safety Authority, has legislated for their use on public roads. However, they have yet to hammer out the finer details on ensuring safety standards and where the machines can or cannot be used without appropriate documentation.

This means that people who use the vehicles on Irish roads without tax and insurance are doing so illegally. Purchase of e-scooters in Ireland is fully permissible and many micro mobility start-up operators are currently waiting to break fully into the Irish market.

These include lucrative companies Zipp Mobility, Zeus, Bolt, Bird, Lime, Dott, Voi and Tier.

The Department of Transport, supported by the Road Safety Authority, has legislated for e-scooters’ use on public roads. Last October, the Government published the Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021, which companies such as Bolt and Tier welcomed.

As far back as February last year, Minister for Transport Éamon Ryan, TD, said that his department was committed to “resolving legal barriers to the use of e-scooters” and other similar vehicles.

However, they have yet to hammer out the finer details on ensuring safety standards and where the machines can or cannot be used without appropriate documentation.

“This further delay is worrying as electric scooters are currently being used in every city and town in Ireland, without the benefit of any regulation or control. Legislation is needed to ensure the protection of these scooter users and all other road users,” said Aisling Dunne, head of public policy for Bolt in Ireland.

“The government needs to engage with the industry to find ways to speed up the legislative process,” Dunne added. Estonian-founded Bolt announced last March that it planned to introduce 10,000 e-scooters to the Irish market.

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