Electric scooters should be banned from public roads and cycle paths, according to Dublin City Council.
Despite the rise in popularity of the two-wheel electric mode of transport, especially in cities, the majority of users are breaking the law.
“It is the council’s view that the use of electric scooters on public roads is illegal and that it is a matter for An Garda Síochána to enforce under road traffic legislation,” a spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said.
It is also illegal to ride a scooter on cycle paths, according to the Road Safety Authority.
“The law and the rules of the road are very clear on this matter,” said a spokesman from the authority.
“A cycle track or lane is a reserved part of a roadway for bicycles and wheelchairs. No vehicle [other than a motorised wheelchair] may drive into or over a cycle track [that is controlled by a continuous white line] unless the driver is entering or leaving a place or a side road.”
Users argue that scooters cannot be classed as a mechanically propelled vehicle (MPV) and as a result do not fall under normal road traffic, licencing, tax, and insurance regulations.
This is not the case, according to Dublin City Council.
“The council has carried out research into the use of electric scooters and a study has revealed the majority of electric scooters available to purchase in the Dublin area exceed 250W power output and have a maximum speed in excess of 25km/h,” said a spokeswoman for DCC.
As such, these are classified as mechanically propelled vehicles and are subject to the same road traffic requirements as normal vehicles.
It is a view shared by the gardaí.
The distinction, as this office understands, is whether they are powered solely by an electric or mechanical means or assisted, ie, using human power to initiated movement,” said a Garda spokeswoman.
“To drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place, the driver must hold a valid driving licence for the class of vehicle concerned, and have third party insurance cover to meet personal injury and property damage caused by negligent driving.”
The Department of Transport has confirmed it has asked the RSA to carry out research to see how scooters are dealt with in other EU member states.
“Any decision to be taken on whether or not to amend existing legislation will depend on the outcome of the authority’s research,” said a department spokeswoman.