Electric scooter and bike regulations to be in place in Q2 2024, says Department of Transport

— E-scooters will not be legal on public road until the process if finished.

Delayed regulations to make low-power electric scooters legal on Irish roads and to firm up the legal position around bikes are now expected to be in place in Q2 2024, the Department of Transport has said.

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Based on a very recent written parliamentary reply from the Department of Transport, IrishCycle.com reported last weekend that EU-level intervention delayed the regulations. The Department told this website yesterday that it has now addressed the technical issues raised by the European Commission.

In relation to electric bikes, the regulations are planned to firm up what is and isn’t an electric bicycle. Higher-powered bikes where the motors continue to help after 25km/h or where a bike can move without help from the rider are already considered legally to be mopeds — the changes will firm this up and allow these bikes to be registered, taxed and insured for the first time.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: “In advance of being signed into law, the draft technical regulations were submitted to the EU Commission for assessment under Directive (EU) 2015/1535 (the Single Market Transparency Directive). This is known as the Technical Regulation Information Service process.

The Technical Regulation Information Service (TRIS) is part of a process designed to prevent trade barriers in the internal market. The Department said that the draft e-scooter regulations were submitted to TRIS in July 2023 and the process concluded in October. What are described as technical changes to the law passed last year were deemed as needed following comments from the Commission made during the TRIS process.

The Department said: “Following legal advice, the draft regulations are currently being amended to remove references to voluntary standards with a view to ensuring that certain technical requirements were clearly outlined to the user in the body of the regulations. This is a minor change to the drafting language which does not alter the requirements for e-scooters and fully satisfies the comments made by the Commission.”

A spokesperson said that the Office of Parliamentary Counsel has recommended the technical change to the wording of part 16 of the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, which passed Oireachtas approval last year. The changes recommended relate to “how parameters for powered personal transporters are described”.

The technical changes are now planned as part of the Road Traffic Bill 2023. The Road Traffic Bill 2023 is currently at the committee stage at the Oireachtas, the new law mainly deals with speed limits, penalty point reform, and mandatory drug testing at the scene of serious collisions.

The Department said: “When this process has concluded, the relevant parts of the Act will be commenced. The e-scooter regulations are now expected to be in place in Q2 2024 and e-scooters will not be legal for public use until then.”

The spokesperson added: “As provisions for e-bikes and e-mopeds are also provided in section 16 of the Act, it is not intended to commence these provisions until these changes have been made. This process is anticipated to be concluded in Q2 2024.”


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1 comments

  1. 25km/h legal limit is too slow. 30km/h would make alot more common sense and would entice more people to use ebikes as opposed to driving a car

    Reply

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