The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross TD, has warned retailers and suppliers of e scooters and other Powered Personal Transporters (PPTs) that they should inform customers that such vehicles are not legal on public roads and thoroughfares.
Minister Ross said retailers were obliged if selling e scooters or other PPTs, such as segways, hoverboards and other vehicles, to inform customers that they were only available to use legally on private property.
Last week, Minister Ross announced that he was commencing a public consultation to run until November 1st on foot of receiving a report commissioned by the RSA which broadly supports legalising the use of such vehicles on public roads. The Minister has invited submissions from all interested parties. The consultation is also being brought directly to the attention of a range of stakeholders with a particular interest/responsibility for road safety.
But Minister Ross today said that although a consultation period was underway, e scooters and PPTs remained illegal if used on public roads.
Minister Ross said: “The use of these mechanically propelled vehicles is illegal on public roads/in public places. Under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1961, eScooters and similar vehicles are defined as mechanically propelled vehicles. As such, before they can be used on public roads/in public places they must be covered by insurance, have motor tax and the driver appropriately licenced to operate them. Due to the nature of these vehicles, under existing road traffic law they are only suitable for use on private property.”
Minister Ross said enforcement of the legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána, with various penalties provided, along with powers for the detention of the vehicle when detected in use in contravention of the legislation.
The Minister added: “It is critically important that suppliers and retailers inform prospective purchasers that such vehicles can only be used on private property. In addition, suppliers and retailers are reminded that the supply (which includes sale, hire, loan, gift etc) of a mechanically propelled vehicle (including eScooters and such like vehicles) to someone under the age of 16 is prohibited under section 30 of the Road Traffic Act 2004.”