Electric scooters have become quite popular in Ireland in recent times thanks to their convenience and savings on fuel costs.
The e-scooters aren’t only used for recreational purposes but for commuting too. However, the legality of electric scooters in Ireland is a question that is still in the grey area of the law.
In this post, we look at what the law actually says about the use of electric scooters on roads and other public areas in Ireland.
What Does the Law Say About Electric Scooters?
The huge increase in sales and use of electric scooters has been balanced by existing legislation in countries such as Ireland and the Netherlands.
The laws in both countries have made it illegal to use electric-powered scooters on public roads. In Ireland, e-scooters are classified as Mechanically Propelled Vehicles (MPVs), which is still a definition under discussion since electric scooters actually get the initial propulsion from foot pedaling just like bicycles.
Under the Ireland Road Traffic Act of 1961, MPVs are subjected to several regulations such as registration, taxation, and insurance.
Additionally, every MPV user should have a valid driving license and wear the right safety gear such as a helmet and reflector clothing.
The Grey Area in Electric Scooters Legislation
Efforts to make electric scooters legal on Ireland roads are still in the grey area because the legislation, as currently constituted, doesn’t define where you can ride e-scooters and at what speeds.
There’s also the question of whether electric scooters fall within the exact definition of MPVs since they require a physical push or pedaling for initial propulsion.
Furthermore, a recent statement by The Garda states that e-scooters or electric skateboards shouldn’t be taxed because they aren’t regarded as fit to be used on public roads. Lawmakers in the country agree that new legislation needs to be created to determine the legality of electric scooters in Ireland.
So, can you ride an electric scooter in Ireland? You can, of course, use an electric scooter in Ireland as long as you do it on private property. It’s not yet legal to use an e-scooter on the road and city streets in Ireland.
However, there are concerted efforts being made to make electric scooters on public spaces and roads in the nearest future, especially in these COVID-19 pandemic times where people are encouraged to use private transport methods to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Do I Need a Scooter License in Ireland?
At present, you don’t need a license to own or ride an electric scooter in Ireland. In fact, there are no licenses available because electric scooters aren’t yet legal for road use in Ireland.
We can only wait to see what the law will eventually require from electric scooter users if and when scooters become legal for use on public roads.
The legality of electric scooters in Ireland is still an issue under consideration by the relevant authorities.
The good news is that the Ministry for Transport in Ireland has recognized the need to create new legislation on the use of electric scooters just like in France and Denmark where e-scooters are already legal for public road use.
The future does indeed look bright for e-scooters in Ireland as we wait for the legislation to be passed.